In Honor of the Approaching End of a Long, Bleak Winter

Recipe: Avocado with Bell Pepper and Tomato

Last Sunday afternoon, the thermometer came dangerously close to 80 degrees, signalling the approach if not the arrival of the end of Phoenix’s bitter cold Winter. It’s not the only sign that we’re on the brink of Spring. I haven’t seen any baby ducks in the canals yet, but there have been other baby sightings.

Henry Robert Tolar, born January 25, 2012

In celebration of arrivals and impending arrivals, today’s recipe is quick, light, fresh, vegetarian (if that’s a plus for you), and the colors just shout Spring.

When prepping the veggies, go for a small dice. This ensures that each bite contains every flavor and also provides abundant surface area for the dressing to coat, it makes a difference.

If you find the idea of chopping avocados to be a threatening proposition, as I used to, here is a tip my Son-in-Law, Jason, taught me. First, cut each avocado in half by running a knife around the fruit vertically. Pry the pieces apart using the flat of the knife blade and remove the seed by sticking the blade into the seed and twisting. (I do this by just whacking the seed with the knife-edge, kind of like you’re trying to chop the seed, then twisting slightly until the seed just pops out.) Then, using a utility knife, cut the avocado pulp as shown above, so that you’ve got a dice pattern of the fruit still in the shell. When you’re done with that, simply scoop the pre-diced pulp out. Done! No muss, no fuss, no peeling avocados.

This simple dressing is the key to the whole dish. The version shown above is simpler than I intended, because I forgot to add the cayenne pepper. I’ve made this twice and each time I’ve forgotten the cayenne, so I guess cayenne pepper is optional. But I sure think it would add to the flavor profile. Let me know how it works for you.

The original version of this recipe called it “Avocado, Bell Pepper, and Tomato Salad” and had it served simply scooped back into the empty avocado shells and garnished with cilantro leaves. That was fine, as far as it went, but it didn’t seem substantial enough for a dinner to me. I thought the combination of colors and flavors would make a great base for Bruschetta, so I decided to make it both ways. For the Bruschetta, I add some shredded Asiago cheese and broil it for a couple of minutes, then serve them both together.

Avocado with Bell Pepper and Tomatoes
Recipe type: Appetiser or Entree
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 5 mins
Total time: 20 mins
Serves: 3
Serve as a salad or as Bruschetta, or both.
  • 3 avocados, seeded and diced. reserve empty shells.
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced.
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 2 T cilantro, minced.
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved.
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 pinches cayenne pepper
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • kosher salt
  • shredded Asiago cheese
  • 3 or 4 small bread rolls, halved.
  1. combine olive oil, lime juice, garlic, cayenne pepper, and salt in a small bowl. whisk and reserve.
  2. combine all other ingredients in a medium bowl and stir gently. drizzle with dressing and stir, adding salt to taste.
  3. preheat oven to 450 degrees. halve the rolls and toast in the oven until just browning. remove.
  4. spoon avocado mixture onto bread halves. dress with shredded cheese. place under the broiler in your oven until the cheese just melts.
  5. spoon the remaining mixture into reserved avocado shells. dress with a few cilantro leaves.


Rating: Henry Robert is currently rated a 10, with the likelihood that his rating will continue to rise for the foreseeable future. The Avocado with Bell Pepper and Tomato gets a 4 out of 5 wine glasses, reserving the 5th glass for when I finally remember to add the cayenne pepper to the dressing. Enjoy! Welcome to the world, Henry Robert!



This entry was posted in 4 Wine Glasses, Appetizer, Drinks, Lunch, Side Dish, Vegetarian. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to In Honor of the Approaching End of a Long, Bleak Winter

  1. Jen says:

    Love this! And congrats. :)

  2. MB says:

    I was fortunate enough to walk in to this dinner last night! Superb!!

  3. Pingback: Why I Have a Crock Pot | Wine and a Spoon

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