Off The Counter: The ABC Salad

IMG_1992 Before the last long weekend of the summer comes to an end,  I'd like to share with you the avocado, beet and cucumber salad I've been obsessed with lately.  Combining salty cucumbers, boiled golden beets and firm avocados with a bit of fresh mint, this salad transitions perfectly from this season to the next.  Ingredients and instructions below.



Golden beets, California avocados, Persian cucumbers, mint, salt, pepper, olive oil and seasoned rice vinegar.


Chop the cucumbers (peeled or not), salt and let stand while you prepare the remaining ingredients.  Trim the stems and leaves off the beets and boil till they're just slightly soft.  Run the beets under cool water and peel.  Once the beets are completely cooled, dice them and put in a salad bowl.  Add cucumbers and diced avocados.  Sprinkle in some fresh mint leaves.  Season with olive oil, rice vinegar, salt and pepper.



Off The Counter: Seasonal Citrus

Before my kitchen was demolished , I experimented with my favorite winter salad ingredients:  blood oranges, avocado and red onion.  Using Instagram to document my culinary exploits, I had  few people ask what type of dressing I used.  So here it comes:

Mind you, I'm not one for measuring ingredients, so depending on the size of the salad and your preference as to just how much dressing is enough, your own judgement should come into play.

Olive Oil, Orange Blossom Champagne Vinegar, Citrus Zest, and Maldon Sea Salt Flakes.  Whisk together and pour.

I'm looking forward to having a kitchen counter again.  I suspect there'll be some serious cooking in the new space.

Off The Counter: The Classic Cobb Salad

This week's Off The Counter is inspired by an old favorite, the Cobb Salad.  It was  a staple of ours years ago but only recently have we integrated it back into our culinary repertoire.  It could be the perfect summer meal:  light,  filling and good for you at the same time.  Ingredients and instructions below.  Take a look at this classic:


Baby spinach, blue cheese, bacon, hard boiled eggs, avocado, dijon mustard, olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper.


Cook the bacon and boil the eggs. We like it with lots of eggs so we use 3-4.  Combine with the spinach, blue cheese and avocado.  Salt and pepper to your liking.  For the dressing mix olive oil, some dijon mustard, juice from a lemon and salt and pepper.  Drizzle on top and toss.  Enjoy!

Do YOU have a favorite go-to salad?

Off The Counter: 5 Favorite Avocado Recipes

My love for avocados developed later in life.  As I child, I used to watch in horror as my mother dressed them in olive oil, salt and pepper and then savored them slowly.  She was always confident that I would become an avocado lover just like her.  Since our move to California, they've become a regular 'off the counter'staple, either served as my Mom would eat them, mashed into fresh guacamole, or used in recipes like the ones above.

I love living in avocado country!

Images and recipes: 1./2./3./4./5.

Off The Counter: Figs, Avocado, and Cantaloupe

Almost 16 years ago, I was introduced to this salad while working at a health food store in San Francisco.  It's an unlikely combination of figs, cantaloupe and avocados, that turns into a surprisingly satisfying summer treat.  Served on skewers as an appetizer, or tossed as a salad,  it’s sure to delight your palate.  Take a look at how this unusual fruity combo comes together.  Instructions and original recipe to follow.


cantaloupe, avocados, figs, mint leaves, chives, olive oil, rice vinegar, sugar and salt


Cube melon, slice avocados and cut the figs in half.  Finely chop the mint and chives and whisk along with the olive oil, vinegar, sugar and salt.  If you choose to skewer the fruits,  do so before adding the dressing.  In that case, add the ingredients to a bowl or platter and drizzle with the dressing before skewing.  Enjoy!!