Fresh and fast: Avocado and Tomato Salad

I’m afraid I have a natural rebellious streak, but I will concede that sometimes the very best course of action is simply to do what you are told.  Case in point:

Why argue with a perfectly ripe avocado? Black-skinned Haas avocados were a staple menu item when I was growing up.  When I first moved to Germany it was rare to see a Haas-type avocado – the stores all had those giant light-green-skinned oval-shaped rocks imported from Israel or South Africa, while I longed for the delicious nutty-flavored, creamy-textured avocados of my memory.  I’m sure the other kind is good if that is what you are used to, but fortunately, we started getting what I think of as the real deal a year or so ago, and ever since then, I’ve been eating lots of avocados.

This really isn’t a recipe but rather a suggestion for a tasty quick lunch.  Cut up a perfectly ripe tomato, or if you find yourself in the happy circumstances of having fresh sweet cherry tomatoes (love my little terrace garden), cut them in half and salt lightly.  Cut the avocado in half lengthwise and cut the half with the pit sticking to it in half again so you can flick the pit out.  Stick toothpicks in the pit and suspend it pointy-end down and half submerged in a jar of water until it sprouts roots and leaves (that step is optional, of course).  Score the avocado flesh (awesome, I think I may be entering the first stage of trilingualism – at first I wrote fleisch instead of flesh!) and pull the chunks away from the peel with your knife.  Give it another sprinkle of salt, lightly mix, and if desired, add a generous splash or two of bottled hot sauce.  Tapatío is my choice and I keep a little bottle in my desk for just such a time as this.  By the way, although it is made in California, Tapatío is the favored brand of all the tapatíos, or natives of Guadalajara, Mexico that I know.

If you want to be fancy like me, serve this salad on your finest office dinnerware.

When I was on my way home from work today and thinking about what I would write in this post, I was planning to go off a bit in agreement with Mark Bittman’s recent Op-Ed piece on the myth of junk food being more affordable than real food.  I’ll refrain and let you read it yourself if you’d like, without a lecture from me.  But I do hope you’ll give this easy-to-pack lunch a try….no refrigeration or equipment other than a knife needed, faster than the fastest fast-food place around, and infinitely better (and in case you are wondering, the total cost was about $1.35…and yes, I do know how many calories are in an avocado, but I’ll take that over a side of fries most any day).


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