Jan D'atri Avocado Salad

After a week of Easter candy chocolates, and elaborate Easter brunches, your body may be craving something light, refreshing and healthful. I’ve got just the dish.

 In fact, it’s “totally awesome!” That’s what the creator of this recipe calls it. She’s 11-year-old Katie Cafferelli, who entered the dish in a contest this year and took top honors as the grand prize winner.

It incorporates skillet-toasted corn sautéed in shallots and garlic, then tossed with black beans, red bell pepper, mango, avocado and spices. The mixture is then spooned into the avocado shells and topped with cheese.

The judges apparently thought Katie’s recipe had it all, with its bright and colorful presentation to its nutritious and tasty combination of ingredients loaded with vitamins and antioxidants. I agree.

It’s the perfect dish for a party, appetizer or lunch! Great job, Katie. Totally awesome!

Stuffed avocado salad

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon shallot, chopped fine (1 large)

2 cups corn kernels (2 large fresh ears)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 can black beans, (15 oz) rinsed and drained

1 cup red bell pepper, chopped (About 1 medium large pepper)

1 cup mango, chopped (1 large)

2 large ripe but not bruised avocados

3 tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish

3 tablespoons lime juice

2 large ripe but not bruised avocados

Salt and pepper, to taste

Cotiga or Feta cheese for topping (optional)

Green leaf lettuce for garnish

Directions:

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in large hot skillet. Sauté garlic, shallot, corn and cumin over medium-high heat for 10 minutes or until corn begins to brown. Set aside until room temperature. When corn mixture has cooled, place in bowl. Add black beans, red bell pepper, mango, 3 tablespoons olive oil, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. Slice two avocados in half, lengthwise.

Remove pit and score avocado meat one way then the other to create squares. Carefully remove squares from shell, keeping shell intact. Add avocado meat to bowl of corn ingredients and gently stir.

Fill halved avocado shells with mixture.

Top with Cotiga or Feta cheese if desired. Garnish with green leaf lettuce and cilantro.

Yields 4 servings. There will be leftover filling for seconds.

Katie’s Tip for keeping avocados from turning brown: A sprinkling of Ball Fruit Fresh Produce Protector on avocados keeps them looking fresh and green if you cut them up in advance.

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