September is often a beautiful time in New York. The thick debilitating heat of the summer leaves us and sends a subtle breeze with lots of sunshine. Giving us warm, sunny days and cool, breezy nights. I have the perfect appetizer for days such as this – a tasty tomato avocado salad.
Tomato avocado salad an uncomplicated dish with classic flavors. Just some sliced tomatoes set in a lime laced avocado puree and enhanced with a few distinctive flavors and textures. A relatively easy dish to make.
It’s a great opener to a meal. The flavors are distinctive, yet subtle. It has a myriad of textures, and the ingredients are easily sourced and familiar to all. There will be no need to explain what your guests have in front of them, but they will be surprised at how you put it together.
This tomato avocado salad is my effort to replicate the one I had at Ironside Fish & Oyster. A wonderful seafood restaurant in the Little Italy district in San Diego.
Ironside’s tomato avocado salad is impressive. As soon as my plate was put in front of me I could smell the earthy sweetness of the tomatoes. I knew I was in for a treat. It was clear that the tomatoes were sourced specifically for taste at first bite. All of my senses came alive.
There’s a trick to buying tasty tomatoes. Find ones that feel heavy for their size in the palm of your hand. When you give them a sniff, you should get that rich tomato smell. As if they have not long been picked.
Resist buying a container or bag of tomatoes, pick them yourself. Also avoid heirloom tomatoes as they often have a mushy consistency and that would not work well with the other textures in this dish.
I used beefsteak tomatoes, vine tomatoes and hybrid brown tomatoes known as Kumatoes. The reason for using a variety of tomatoes is not necessarily for taste, but for eye appeal. Make your choice of tomatoes dependent upon what is available, but you will need a contrast of colors, sizes and shapes. I cut some slices of tomatoes into quarters, to help with piling them on top of each other.
This tomato avocado salad might test your creativity a touch, but you will have fun creating it.
Imagine yourself swelling with pride when your guests beam at the impressive salad you place before them.