Russ is not big on my all-but-the-kitchen-sink salads. Yes, he can pick out the items he’ll eat, but every once-in-a-while (or in our household, more often than not), I rely on ingenuity to create dishes that will appeal to both of us. That’s how this Tomato, Avocado & Salted Peanut Salad came about. They are all ingredients he enjoys. (A can of cocktail peanuts sits by his side of the loveseat to continually munch on while watching TV).
I needed a new side dish salad to complement the meal I’d been making that day. When preparing a meal, I strive for one with various colors and textures. In these days of COVID, I use ingredients I have handy because I only make it to the grocery store every couple of weeks.
This salad has become a favorite of his and hope it will become one of yours. Feel free to tweak to taste.
Serves 2 to 4, depending on how much other food you are serving.
Preparation time: 10-15 minutes
5 caprese tomatoes, sliced into sixths (I’ve used other types of tomatoes, but these just seem to pick up the flavors and retain their shape best.)
1 just-right Haas avocado
¼ C salted cocktail peanuts, chopped
¼ oz of butter or light butter spray on small non-stick pan
Sprinkle of garlic salt
Splash of fruity but not sweet vinegar (I use champagne flavored for this)
Good extra virgin olive oil (start with two teaspoons and see if you need more)
- Chop your peanuts. On med-low heat, sauté the chopped nuts in the butter or sprayed pan until golden brown. I prefer mine a bit toastier, but I leave it to your discretion.
- Slice your tomatoes and cut your avocado into edible bites.
- Place the tomatoes, avocado and half the toasted peanuts into a small bowl.
- Sprinkle garlic salt on top. Then add the vinegar and olive oil to taste. You want there to be enough to gently blend the ingredients without bruising or leaving a puddle underneath them.
- Taste. Sprinkle remainder of peanuts on top.
There are always variations to any dish. I’ve tried bits of basil, oregano, and rosemary. (Not all at once. Separately).
Don’t like peanuts? Use some other nut. You can always add a touch of salt if need be.
Karen Kuzsel is a writer-editor based in the Orlando area who specializes in the hospitality, entertainment, meetings & events industries. She is an active member of ILEA and MPI and is now serving on the 2021-2022 MPI Global Advisory Board for Independent and Small Business Owners. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. Karen writes about food & wine, spas, destinations, venues, meetings & events. A career journalist, she has owned magazines, written for newspapers, trade publications, radio and TV. As her alter-ego, Natasha, The Psychic Lady, she is a featured entertainer for corporate and social events. Karen@KarenKuzsel.com; www.KarenKuzsel.com; www.ThePsychicLady.com; @karenkuzsel; @thepsychiclady. Food photos for this series by Karen Kuzsel.