Memorial Day weekend in Boston is the unofficial kick off to summer. The Sagamore Bridge becomes a parking lot for eager beach goers, the smell of grilled meat fills the air and American Flag fly high as we remember those who have passed away serving for the US Military. And by a remembrance I mean a good ole fashion backyard BBQ with friends and family and enjoy a much deserved long weekend.
Crucial to the enjoyable cook out would be a grill, things to put on grill, booze and a designated grill master. While you all may be eager to jump at the opportunity to assert you dominance and show you truly are the Alpha of the pack by searing meat over an open flame. Ask yourself, is that how I really want to spend my day? Standing over a hot grill, probably sweating, stinking like hot dogs, married to Mr. Weber, as everyone enjoys the day conversing, playing games, and sitting in chaise chairs. Meanwhile the only interactions with other people you get to enjoy usually start with “is that done yet?”
Now I don’t want to trash on the grill master, I love to grill and I have worked the grill on the line really enjoy cooking and eating things on the grill. It’s just not how I would like to spend my memorial day. Id rather relax enjoy a beverages and bask in the glory of being the guy who made that great side dish. This way I can put in maybe an hour of prep before the cook out. Put a bowl down and I’m done the rest of the day is mine.
I’m sure you asking how do I become amazing side dish guy/girl? Do people really enjoy a bag of tortilla chips and salsa that much? Maybe coleslaw or potato salad will do it? Well maybe, but we don’t want a maybe we want something that could stand toe to toe with a juicy cheeseburger.
For That I give you:
Tomato Avocado Salad
I know it doesn’t sound like but trust me on this, go buy some avocados, resist the urge to make guac and try this instead I can assure you and your fellow patriots will not be disappointed.
4 Avocados (diced)
6 Tomatoes (diced)
1 Onion (small dice)
3 Poblono peppers (see blow)
4 Cloves garlic
1 teaspoon of fresh ginger
1 bunch of cilantro
Salt to taste
Take whole Poblono peppers and roast over a flame until the skin has blacked on each side. Rinse peppers with cold water to shock and stop cooking. This will allow you to easily remove the skin. Destem and remove seeds. Cut in half and julienne into matchstick size portions. Set aside
Put a dry pan on high heat, place garlic cloves (unpeeled) in pan and roast on each side for about 30 second or until they start to brown. Set aside
Remove pan from heat and let cool, add a small splash of olive oil and sauté minced ginger until it ha browned on each side, about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool
Add tomatoes, avocados, peppers and onions into a large bowl and toss with a pinch of salt to draw out the liquid and let rest in your fridge for 15 minutes.
Pulverize the garlic cloves with your knife as if you were making aioli or a garlic paste by fine chopping and pressing and pulling on the garlic on you cutting board to form a paste.
Add garlic and ginger to salad mixture.
Add juice from 1 ½ of the limes to mixture and toss.
Let sit for 5 minutes and add more salt or lime juice to taste.
Chop fresh cilantro and add as much as you would like (if you don’t like cilantro you can forgo this step.
And that’s it put in maybe an hours worth of work before the party and our day you can spend the rest of the day playing horse shoes, showing off your newly acquired koozie and maybe take a nap in a lawn chair if that’s your sort of thing.
So heed my advice, don’t let your ego get the best of you and pass the spatula to the left hand side. Make the salad and let your buddy stand over a 400-degree flame for the first day of summer. They’ll be plenty of more chances to showcase you skill on the grill in the coming months.