Dinner Series: Keeping It Fresh

This week, we've been looking at a quintessentially summer meal. Monday, we tackled amazing BBQ ribs. Wednesday, we added a great roasted tater salad. And today, we round out the meal with a salad so fresh and wonderful, it begs to be made in summer:

Because it boasts silky smooth avocado, this salad wants to be tossed together just before serving. The avocado will discolor if made too much in advance, so save it for making when your ribs are nearly done and then put together a plate that looks like this:

Or nestle it alongside grilled chicken, burgers, or any other summer foods. You could make it during other times of the year, but something about the availability of fresh produce and the abundance of sunshine and al fresco dining makes this the truly perfect summer salad. In fact, I've been known to make it part of my lazy dinners and have it alongside quick-cooked quesadillas with a margarita out on the patio. After all, it's summertime and the livin' is easy! And that's particularly true when you have this dinner series menu to enjoy.

Tomato-Corn-Avocado Salad

  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 T. white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 c. chopped sweet peppers — use a variety of colors for a very pretty salad
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small cucumber, quartered and sliced
  • 1 c. sweet corn — fresh is best, but thawed frozen corn will also work
  • 1 ripe avocado, chopped

In a small resealable jar, combine the first 4 ingredients (olive oil through salt and pepper) and shake vigorously to form a dressing. Set aside.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl. Add the dressing and toss lightly to coat. Serve immediately.

  • Yields: 4-6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes