Avocado Salad With Cilantro Vinaigrette

“People here don’t really know how to eat avocadoes,” Martha muses. “They have it in guacamole, maybe on a sandwich, but then they don’t know what else to do with them. This salad is perfect almost all year round, but especially when tomatoes are in season.” Those of you who have just read “cilantro” in the recipe title and have muttered “Yuck!” to yourselves, read on.

My husband, like you, calls Colombia’s most widely used herb “the devil’s weed.” When he saw us plucking the emerald leaves off the stems for a fine mince, he walked away wincing. Martha called him back. “Why don’t you like cilantro, Mario?” He replied that eating it turns any dish, no matter how wonderful, into a mouthful of pungent dish soap. “Let’s see if you think the same after you try this dressing because I’m not using the stems.” And guess what? That’s made the world of difference for the coriander-hater turned pacifist.

– Mary Luz Mejia

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Juice of 1/2 lime

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp sea salt or kosher salt, plus more if needed

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more if needed

Handful cilantro (coriander) leaves (no stems), finely chopped

3 ripe avocados, halved, pit and shell removed, cut diagonally into ½-inch slices

3 ripe tomatoes, diced

1/2 English cucumber, partially peeled (for presentation), diced

1 medium sweet apple (Martha used a Fuji, but red delicious is an acceptable substitute), cored and diced

In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, oil, salt and pepper. Stir in the cilantro leaves; set aside. In a medium bowl, add the avocado, tomato, cucumber and apple. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad ingredients. Toss very gently so as not to break up the avocado. Serve immediately.