I feel like a brand new woman after this past weekend! The weather was warm, the sun was shining, and we did all the springy things. Vitamin D, I’ve missed you. Ben and Lincoln built a bonfire – complete with s’mores, of course – to burn all the sticks in the yard, the L-man and I practiced for the start of his first ever season of T-ball (file explaining how to use a baseball glove to a 4 year old under easier said than done,) lots of long walks and plenty of bubbles to boot. We were outside as much as possible and I have the rapidly darkening melasma to prove it – shoot!
In related news, I assumed this pregnancy would go lightening fast and in some ways it has, though in some ways it…hasn’t. On one hand, most days I truly forget I’m pregnant until settling in for the night because I’m distracted while running around with the boys all day. On the other hand, I’ve been pregnant since October, which feels like forever ago, and we still have three more months to go! That said, I distinctly remember sitting in the hospital an hour after Cameron was born thinking, oh my gosh, not only am I not pregnant anymore, but it feels like a distant memory. Nine months is truly a blip on the radar of my life, but I am also eagerly anticipating the end of July and meeting our little girl. I recently saw a commercial of parents bringing their newborn daughter home from the hospital and ugly cried. WTH is wrong with me.
Anyway, Ben also cleaned up the grill this weekend so we can start using it for the season (bring on da meats.) Tonight’s menu calls for Homemade Brat Burgers, baked beans, and Italian Guacamole Salad!
Have you ever given your guac an Italian twist? It’s so good. I always have one or two lemons on hand – limes for whatever reason, not so much. Anyway, I like to make homemade guacamole for our near-weekly taco night and if I forget to pick up a lime at the store, I’ll sub in lemon. Works so well!
With summer just around the corner, and the weather warming up, I decided to give my lemon-infused guacamole a chunky salad twist, and Italian Guacamole Salad, aka The Most Refreshing Salad EVER, is the result.
Chopped Roma tomatoes and avocado are combined with thinly sliced red onion, a teensy bit of fresh garlic, and plenty of fresh basil, which really drives home that Italian flavor, then drizzled with fresh lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil. So simple and SO summery. Plus it takes just 5 minutes to toss together. Pair with any of the aforementioned grilled meats as a simple side dish or heck, spoon it on top! The salt in the recipe draws out some of the moisture in the tomatoes to create a heavenly, sweet and tangy sauce that would easily jazz up everything from grilled salmon to a plain grilled chicken breast.
In a large bowl combine 3 chopped Roma tomatoes (or whatever you have growing in the garden/picked up at the Farmer’s Market!) 1 chopped avocado, 1/4 small red onion that’s been thinly sliced, 1 very small clove garlic that’s been pressed or microplaned, 1/4 cup lightly packed fresh basil that’s been chopped, and plenty of salt and pepper.
Drizzle the juice of 1/2 lemon on top, plus a splash of both balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. No measurements needed – just add a drizzle of everything, taste, then adjust to your liking. That said, feel free to get this salad on the table even easier by subbing in your favorite Italian salad dressing instead!
Serve immediately or, like I mentioned, let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or so to let the juices from the tomatoes combine withe the fresh lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil. Oh my gosh, yum – I can’t wait for dinner! I hope you make this fresh and summery salad all season long – enjoy!
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Italian Guacamole Salad
Italian Guacamole Salad is a fresh, fast, and flavorful side dish. Pair with grilled chicken or fish for a healthy dinner in no time!
- 3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 1 large avocado, chopped
- 1/4 small red onion, very thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup lightly packed fresh basil, thinly sliced
- 1 tiny clove garlic, pressed or microplaned
- salt and pepper
- 1 lemon*
- drizzle balsamic vinegar*
- drizzle extra virgin olive oil*
- Add tomatoes, avocado, red onion, basil, garlic, salt, and pepper to a large bowl. Add the juice of 1/2 lemon, balsamic vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil then toss gently to combine. Taste then add more salt, pepper, and/or lemon juice if needed, and then serve.
* Omit and use your favorite homemade or bottled Italian salad dressing instead.
- This salad gets nice and juicy as the salt draws moisture out of the tomatoes so feel free to prepare up to 30 minutes ahead of time and let sit at room temperature before serving.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.