Tuesday, March 09, 2010
It's Not Even Spring Yet!
I couldn't help it. I tried to restrain myself, really, but this stretch of warmer weather had me champing at the bit to grill something. Anything. So, after spending the morning zesting citrus for various things (Dorie Greenspan's Perfect Party Cake was one) I felt the need for fresh flavors on my dinner plate.
I had already thawed chicken breasts and was planning on fried chicken with a tomato based sauce, but I caught sight of the grill outside and made a last minute executive decision: the chicken must be grilled.
I had also been cooking beans to have on-hand. The beans were cooking with dried arbol chiles, bay leaves and garlic, and after tossing the lime shells (limes sans zest and juice) into the beans I felt like they needed to come to play in our dinner somehow. I scratched the tomato sauce idea and instead made a quick salsa with beans, avocado and tomato. It was the perfect complement to the grilled chicken. It was so good, in fact, that I had to keep from finishing it off myself. There are no herbs added and it doesn't need any at all - the combination of crunchy onion, tender avocado and tangy lime juice is terrific as-is.
Our dinner was a thrown-together delight. The chicken was topped with the salsa and I made a simple side of linguine tossed with olive oil, dried lemon zest and basil. It was divinely delicious and even the kids liked it. Not quite summer, but so close I could almost taste it.
Simple Tomato, Bean and Avocado Salsa
Makes 3 cups
1 1/2 cups seeded and diced tomato
1 1/2 cups cooked and drained beans (I used kidney and pinto)
1 small Hass avocado, peeled, seeded and diced
1/2 cup white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 limes, juiced
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
Combine all in a small bowl and toss well. Let stand for several minutes to blend flavors before serving.