In Season Now … Warm Avocado Salad

Few more days and winter is technically over down under. Having said that, cold days are still predicted not to mention some showers and rains. Comfort food comes to mind…like roast chicken and warm salad. I have a favourite way of roasting chicken. The Zuni chicken way. Well, Zuni is actually the name of the café in San Francisco, California where this famous recipe was developed by its chef, Judy Rodgers. In my opinion, this is truly the best way to roast a chicken, which involves preparing the chicken 2 to 3 days before roasting time. Chicken is dry-brined ( lots of Kosher salt!), which gives that crispy chicken skin once done. Special size chicken is used for this method. You have to use a small chicken, size 1.2 kg to no more than 1.5 kg weight. The reason being, chicken is roasted in very high temperature ( at least 250C degrees) and larger chickens will be too lean and will not tolerate the high heat. Smaller chicken also cooks faster while staying succulent. You may have to go to a special butcher shop ( I get mine from my local Mr. Gordon‘s, of course) and ask for small size chicken. The Zuni chicken recipe you will find online (and lots of them because it is really popular) comes with the bread salad recipe you serve it with. I have tried it a few times and if you haven’t made it yet, I would recommend you try making the bread salad at least once. However, since avocado is abundant in Sydney right now, I am serving this Zuni chicken with my own version of warm avocado salad. I used verjuice to enhance the lemon and mustard flavours in this. Verjuice, unlike white wine vinegar has got a gentle flavour, lifting the food flavours without dominating it. Great as a side dish as I have mentioned but could also be served as a starter.

Hot Avocado Salad 2

Hot Avocado Salad 3

Ingredients :

  • bunch of shallots
  • 225 g cherry tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 4 ripe avocados
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons verjuice
  • 1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
  • 3 tablespoons chopped flat parsley
  • 150 g mixed salad leaves
  • lemon-infused olive oil, to drizzle

Method :

  1. Trim and chop the spring onions. Halve the cherry tomatoes. Cut the avocados in half lengthways, remove the stones and peel off the skin. Roughly chop the flesh. Toss in the lemon juice.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Add spring onions and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes or until soft. Add the tomatoes, verjuice and mustard. Cook over high heat for 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the tomatoes are softened.
  3. Remove the pan from heat. Stir in the avocados and chopped parsley.
  4. Divide the salad leaves between serving plates and top with the warm avocado and tomato mixture.
  5. Drizzle some lemon-infused olive oil. Serve immediately.

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