Photo by Tamara West
This salad is my happy response to a garden full of fresh herbs, tomatoes and chillies at this time of year. It features the golden trio of Mexican flavours — chilli, lime and coriander — with lots of fresh crunch and some creamy avocado.
My favourite trick here is to use a variety of fresh peppers and chillies so there’s a spectrum of flavour from the sweet-juicy-mild depth of the capsicum to the sparkling-tingly heat of the chillies.
You may be surprised to hear that the sequence of adding things makes a big difference to most salads, and this one is a good example. I like to start with the most robust ingredients, in this case the cucumber, capsicum and chilli. I add the tomatoes next, drawing out their juices with some salt which forms a tasty part of the dressing.
Next I add the more delicate avocado to avoid getting it too bashed up, and fresh corn kernels which are nicer if they can stay in small clumps.
I finish dressing it with a little more salt, lime juice and avocado, giving it a gentle toss to combine. Lastly I pile on the fresh herbs, just slightly tucking them in to the bowl so they don’t get bruised and wilted by the dressing. It’s often the care over these little details that makes a dish just a bit more special — people can tell the difference when that extra effort and love is put into their food, and I find it makes the preparation much more fun too.
- Chop the cucumber and capsicum into bite-sized chunks and place in a mixing bowl with the fresh chillies.
- Add the tomatoes then sprinkle the cut surfaces of the tomato with . tsp salt. Mix together.
- Add the avocado and corn kernels, then sprinkle with the other . tsp salt, pepper, lime juice and olive oil. Do another gentle mix.
- Finally add the chopped herbs, just tucking them in so you don’t over-mix the avocado and corn.