I’ve made this salad several times since finding Bon Appétit waiting for me in my mailbox last month. It even made an appearance at The Supper Club a few times.
Everything works about this salad: the crunchy but slightly softened cucumbers, the creamy avocados, the earthy cilantro and the hint of spice that tingles your tongue.
That it can be made ahead of time and transports easily is a bonus. For some serious cuteness factor, put it in single serving sized mason jars and pack it along for your picnic. Or make a giant bowl of it and bring it to a BBQ, or serve it at your own.
Making this cucumber and avocado salad requires you to do something called maceration, or so Bon Appétit says. It’s basically tossing the cucumbers in a little salt and sugar then letting them sit at room temperature while some of the juice is drawn out of them. It softens the cucumber just a little and makes a sort of dressing for the salad.
BTW: Stop by the post on Profiteroles with Chantilly Cream and leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Grace Massa Langlois’s new cookbook Grace’s Sweet Life. Contest closes July 26th. Good luck!
- 24 sprigs cilantro plus ¼ cup coarsely chopped leaves
- ¼ cup chopped peeled ginger
- 6 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
- 2 dried red chilis
- 2 English hothouse cucumbers (about 2 pounds total), cut into ½-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon (or more) kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 4 celery stalks, thinly sliced on a diagonal
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed or vegetable oil
- 2 avocados, halved, pitted, sliced
- ¼ torn fresh basil leaves
- Combine cilantro sprigs, ginger, garlic, and chiles in a resealable plastic freezer bag; seal. Lightly pound with a skillet or rolling pin until ginger and garlic are well mashed.
- Add cucumbers, 1 tsp. salt, and sugar. Seal bag; shake to mix. Squeeze bag firmly to slightly mash cucumbers, 1–2 minutes. Place bag in a large bowl; let macerate at room temperature, turning halfway through, until juices form, about 35 minutes.
- Empty contents of bag into bowl; turn bag inside out and scrape out any small bits. Discard cilantro sprigs. Mix in celery, juice, and oil. Season with more salt, if desired.
- Divide avocado among plates; spoon salad over. Garnish with chopped cilantro and basil.