Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Ensalada de Aguacate (Cuban Avocado Salad)

Here is a very typical, traditional, simple Cuban salad. In my house we go crazy for avocados we love them especially served how I will show you here.

Here in Southern California we have wonderful creamy "Hass" avocodoes, they are very creamy and have the highest fat content making them delicious and rich, in Florida (were most of the Cuban community is) they grow different avocados, they are very large and big avocados, but less creamy, non the less we still love them to. My grandmother (my Tata) calls the rich Avocados "Aguacate's de Leche" translates to "Milk Avocado" and the one's with less fat content and are lighter and more "watered" in taste she calls "Aguacate's de Agua" translates to "Water Avocado" probably doesn't make sense in English.

Sometimes in the stores here usually at the small "Bodeguitas" that carry some Cuban products or at Filipino stores I can find the big Florida Avocados, 1 big Florida Avocado can make a big salad or feed 4 people or even more.

I think the Avocados of Cuba where giant big Avocados like the one's from Florida, anyways regardless of anything these large Avocados are awesome they have their own unique goodness.

-1 large Florida Avocado (you can substitute for 4 regular Avocados more or less)
-2 big fat tomatoes (optional)
-1 red onion (I didn't have it so I used a Yellow Onion, the onion is optional)
-4 juicy Limes
-salt to taste

(1)Cut tomato into rounds, and use as a bed on a large plate

(2)Cut avocado in half, then cut out wedges, then peel it, and cut into desired size of long wedge (the large Florida Avocados have to be cut like this they are not like the Hass one's that you have to spoon out)

(3)Now slice onion into very thin rounds, and place thin rounds over avocado to decorate.

(4)Squeeze over the salad lots of lime juice, and sprinkle generously with salt to taste.

Please Note:
(1)Most Cuban salads are just dressed in lime and salt, if it's a tossed salad with leafy greens olive oil is added to the lime and salt.

(2)The only important thing in the salad is the avocado you can do it with just avocado if you wish and squeeze lime and salt over.


Jose said...

I make this all the time. I take extra care to slice the onion very thinly

Jose said...

Oh yeah, btw, great salad Nathan.

Nathan said...

Haha "taking extra care to slice onion very thinly" reminded me of my post for "Ensalada de Coliflor" it had so called "thinly sliced onions" but it was soo thick and rude looking (my knife skills were worse when I started bloggin) none the less I posted anyways ha ha, but I'll re-do that one someday and post it with nicer pictures.

Mamey said...

Hey Nathan: Whenever available I also use green sliced tomatoes with this salad. I drizzle olive oil over the avocado slices but much less so than on a leafy salad. And yes, the most popular avocadoes in Cuba were similar to those found in Florida. My grandmother in Cienfuegos, Cuba would make a salad called 'guacamole' (I don't know why it had that name) which consisted of chunks of avocadoes and chunks of pineapple, dressed simply with salt lime juice. It usually was served as an appetizer.

Marilyn said...

Hi Nathan,
I looooove aguacate salad!
No onions for me, just olive oil and salt.
Sabes catalogar aguacates?
Aguachento o Amasado.
Happy New Year!

Nathan said...

I have never tasted "Green Tomatoes" before but I have heard they are delicious when deep-fried.

Bueno creo que se "catalogarlos", na'mas es probarlo y si se siente grasoso y cremoso y un sabor mas fuerte es como tu dices "Amasado" y si es de "Agua" pues tiene un sabor mas ligero y menos cremoso. Por lo regular un Aguacate "Amasado" tiene unas no se como se dice en español pero en ingles se le dice "bumps" y es de piel mas oscura, el de agua es mas "liso" por fuera (smooth and has no little bumps) eso es lo que yo e observado, aunque un dia agarre un aguacate gigante de la "Republica DOminicana" y era "Amasado" y de un color amarillo por dentro.

hissip said...

Nice work Nathan. I hope you get a book deal soon!

Mamey said...

Nathan: Sliced green tomatoes are great with salt, lime juice and olive oil. This salad was eaten often by my family back in Havana and Cienfuegos. I've tried the fried green tomatoes (a U.S. Southern recipe). They're very good but an entirely different take.

Núria said...

Ai, que bueno!!! Mmmm Aguacates are the best. I still remember the days we didn't have any here :D. Sometimes globalisation is fantastic!
The salad looks fenomenal and that Avocado... are you sure is not radiactive? He, he. Never seen this sizes here!

Nathan said...

Haha it's not radio-active they've been around a long time, it's just a different species, just like those giant mangoes, sometimes my mom will buy huge mangoes from Mexico and they are sooo sweet it's like eating honey "estan bien enmielados" and it's heavenly because sometimes we boil them in sugar cane syrup infused with cinnamon stick soooo good.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the great recipe! We are part of a group of four families which get together each weekend, taking turns experimenting w/ new foods. I made this as a side to Ropa Vieja (sp?). I slaved over the stew for hours. The ensalada took me maybe 10 minutes, and it was the star of the show! This will be a regular feature at our house. Thanks to www.gardenfork.tv for always telling us to search blogs for recipes, instead of commercial sites.

Dave K., Bellingham, WA

Nathan said...

Glad it was a hit sometimes the simplest stuff is the best :)aawww don't slave for Ropa Vieja it's a fairly simple dish.

Just boil the flank steak for a couple hours in water with a bay leaf. Forget it about and go on with whatever and relax, then come back shredd it, quickly sautee some garlic, onion, bell pepper in olive oil, throw your tomato, the beef broth to form a sauce, salt pepper, cumin to taste and the shredded flank steak simmer for like 5 minutes. Garnish with parsley or cilantro.

Forgot to add while meat simmers you can make some rice, prep the other stuff.

Then to make another side dish if you'd like, out of the beef broth make a noodle soup (fry some noodles cut in 3 sections, when golden add to boiling broth along with some chunks of butternut squash it's real real good and simple cook everything together til tender) or buy a couple bag of green plantain chips, pulverize it in a food processor, add it to the boiling beef stock and you have a creamy savory green plantain soup almost instantly

So there you go your meat dish, rice, soup and whatever else you'd like :)