Ensalada to Make You LambadaMarch 12, 2010
You can imagine how surprised I was at how good this salad is, given that it comes from Rick Bayless, who normally creates horrible food. Right. I’d never toasted my own pumpkin seeds before, and they are delicious! Buy some extra to keep around as a snack. Vegetarians can certainly omit the bacon, but I’d recommend maybe some of that soy bacon stuff or something for a little salty crunch. The combination of the buttery avocado, the sweet mango and the tangy cheese are beautiful, and the citrusy sweet and spicy dressing bring it all together. This makes 4 side salads, but next time I make this I’m thinking of making more and having it as an entrée salad. It’s just that good. Enjoy!
Avocado, Mango and Cheese Salad with Bacon
4 slices bacon
½ cup hulled, untoasted pumpkinseeds
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/3 cup vegetable or olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 small jalapeño
1 tablespoon honey
1 large head Boston/butter head lettuce, leaves separated
2 large ripe avocados
2 ripe mangos
½ cup coarsely crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
Arrange the bacon slices between a double layer of paper towels on a microwavable plate. Microwave on high for 2 ½ to 3 ½ minutes, until crispy. Pour the pumpkinseeds into a small skillet and set over medium heat. When the first one pops, stir constantly until all have popped from flat to round, about 5 minutes. Scoop about 1/3 of them into a food processor and add the lime juice. Pour the remaining seeds into a small dish. Return the skillet to medium heat and measure in the oil. Add the garlic and jalapeño. Cook, stirring regularly, until the garlic is soft and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Scrape the oil and garlic into the food processor. Add the honey and ½ teaspoon salt. Process until smooth. Taste and season with more salt if you think necessary. Divide the lettuce between 4 dinner plates. Pit and peel the avocado, then cut it into slices. Peel the mango, then cut the flesh from the pit. Slice to match the avocado pieces. Arrange the avocado and mango in the center of the lettuce. Drizzle everything with the dressing, then sprinkle with the cheese and toasted pumpkinseeds. Crumble the bacon and strew it over the top, and the salad is ready. Eat!