Chunky Avocado Salsa

I was on traffic duty today (and yesterday) afternoon at CBC – earlier I went for X-rays of my arm, which hasn’t been fully functional for awhile now (nothing exciting to report, sadly – I can’t claim a rodeo injury here – more a very unglamorous and noisy trip over laptop cords. Gravity doesn’t like me very much. Nor do these hardwood floors.) and tonight I’m baking 400 Saskatoon squares for the kitchen theatre tomorrow. In between I had a deadline that unfortunately took priority over making dinner (and reporting it here, I’m sorry to say) and so at close to 8, when W had (happily) eaten oatmeal for dinner, I sliced up the avocados that were at their buttery smooth peak in the fruit bowl, tossed them with some minced purple onion, a handful of halved grape tomatoes, some fresh cilantro, a squeeze of lime juice, drizzle of oil, a big clove of garlic and sprinkle of salt, and we scooped up the lot with corn chips. It was almost as if I had planned it that way.

On the topic of garlic: I have officially given up my search for the perfect press. It doesn’t exist. HOWEVER, a rasp/Microplane does. And when you make things like salsa or guacamole, when you want your garlic to be a nice, smooth purée, nothing does a better job. Do watch your fingernails.

OK. Since I’ve been slacking off in the Free Stuff Fridays department (mostly due to disorientation – what day is it again?) I picked up a nice new Microplane grater (that’s right, I bought it myself) to give to one of you, because it really is (and they don’t give me anything – including new Microplanes – to say this – I’m certain they don’t even know I exist) one of the best kitchen tools out there. Not only are they grate (ha!) for garlic, but for sinewy ginger, fresh nutmeg, and any type of citrus, which is best grated finely in order to release as much flavour as possible. Trust me, you need one of these. And an ice cream machine. But that’s another story.

Really, I’m just buying comments – I miss hearing what everyone had for dinner last night.

Look what I was eating last year on this day! I can’t wait. One more week to go.


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74 comments on “Chunky Avocado Salsa

  1. Lorraine
    July 17, 2010 at 12:08 am

    A Sammy’s pizza, spinach, black olive and feta cheese…yuuummmm…

  2. Erica B.
    July 17, 2010 at 12:25 am

    We did pizza too! I’m feeding a two year old along with my three monkeys so we made one cheese, one pepperoni and cheese, and one red sauce-less chicken pesto pizza. There was leftover pesto, fruilano and fontina cheese ends lingering in the fridge from an italian theme dinner… The cheeses melted perfectly and the fridge now has a few free inches.

    While the dough was doing it’s thing we made a double batch of your Carrot Cake Cookies Love Love Love these! Carrot Cake without all the mess and anxiety over whether the cake will turn out right. 🙂

  3. Michelle
    July 17, 2010 at 12:43 am

    My meal was nothing too exciting. Threw some carmelized onions and goat cheese on a piece of flat bread and ran out the door!

  4. Stacey
    July 17, 2010 at 12:46 am

    How is it already past the middle of July? Shouldn’t it be April? My schedule looks alot like yours, except not nearly as glamourous, just dang busy! Last night for dinner we had panko breaded zucchini with parmesan cheese and chicken kievs. boring and bland on the plate, but the bag of microwave popcorn that was my vote for dinner got voted off the island.

    Stay sane!

    I should have been adventurous with the avacado…looks yummier!

  5. Charlene
    July 17, 2010 at 1:10 am

    Today was a moving day between an old home and a new one, so “dinner” was cobbled together from fridge scraps. Almost too strange to admit to eating: soft corn tortillas heated and sandwiched with peanut butter and hot sauce (yep, HOT SAUCE); carrots, cukes, and radishes on the side.

  6. Kindra
    July 17, 2010 at 1:11 am

    I just got back after a week long trip to almost nothing in the fridge. Cooked some ground beef and added a drained can of kidney beans and some bbq sauce. Ate it on buns Sloppy Joe style. Wasn’t fantastic but it was super easy and my kids loved it.

  7. Kindra
    July 17, 2010 at 1:11 am

    Oh and P.S. I totally agree with you about the mircoplaner! LOVE THAT THING.

  8. Amber
    July 17, 2010 at 1:12 am

    I had sushi, not homemade though. Went to see Singin’ In The Rain at Theatre Under The Stars in Stanley Park but first we filled up on sushi. I had tuna and salmon combo plus an avocado roll and green ice cream for dessert. Oh and a tub of gummy bears and gummy worms at the play:) Who knew they made watermelon flavoured gummy bears?!? Ewwww. But the grapple ones were yummy. Hope you aren’t still slaving over 400 Saskatoon squares.

  9. Carolyn
    July 17, 2010 at 3:09 am

    we at the usual (unexciting but always anticipated) pizza & salad. Homemade lavendar honey ice cream and rhubarb squares from One Smart Cookie for dessert. Have I told you how much I LOVE that cookbook (and how much I’m looking forward to your new one)?!
    I love my microplane rasp graters. On the topic of garlic presses – I really like my one from Pampered Chef. It does a good job and has a nice big hopper.

  10. Jen
    July 17, 2010 at 5:51 am

    We had rack of lamb with potatoes, broccoli and a beet salad for dinner last night. Delicious!

  11. Angela
    July 17, 2010 at 5:57 am

    Lunch was a romaine Salad with English cucumber, tomatoes, and chick peas.
    Would love to see the pics and/or recipe for the saskatoon bars

  12. stacey snacks
    July 17, 2010 at 6:11 am

    I had mussels in white wine and garlic and a Vietnamese spring roll! (we went out for dinner!)….and 2 gin & tonics.

    I love my zyliss garlic press, I have had it for over 20 years and it is the perfect garlic press, it is heavy steel and I use it daily!


  13. Brigitte
    July 17, 2010 at 7:01 am

    I made foccacia and used it as a base for pizza. I had some leftover procuitto and cheddar cheese(old, white) so that what I used for the toppings. I was working late, when I came home it was all gone!

  14. Morgan
    July 17, 2010 at 7:14 am

    Is it bad that I’m trying to remember? lol! We had a late lunch (hamburger helper…ya, I was a slacker) and we ended up just having chips and dip for “supper” – eek! Sounds so terrible when I write it out! Hahaha

  15. Rose in Ohio (@RoseMillsOhio)
    July 17, 2010 at 7:40 am

    Oh, dear….hubby and I shared a $5 footlong. Dog-tired from work and too hot to go near the kitchen, I pled for takeout, COLD takeout, and he obliged, bless his heart.

    I take my microplane grater with me on vacation. There’s just no satisfactory substitute for it!.

  16. Jill B
    July 17, 2010 at 8:01 am

    Last night I collapsed after a hard week – and had a ziploc full of cherry tomatoes a friend had brought me, and then some toast, and then a boiled egg I’d nearly forgotten. Sad.

  17. Trish
    July 17, 2010 at 8:12 am

    Gourmet hotdogs (at least that’s how I tried to pass them off), given I had purchased something called Piccalilli Chow Chow.

  18. rea
    July 17, 2010 at 8:41 am

    chicken stir fry with broccoli and toasted walnuts. delicious!

  19. Robin (Hippo Flambe)
    July 17, 2010 at 8:52 am

    We had bibimbap and pork bulgoki. A friend just adopted a baby from Korean and we had a Korean fest to celebrate. Delicious, to bad the baby is to young to eat any.


  20. Tiffany
    July 17, 2010 at 8:54 am

    Was much too tired and hot to make a full sit-down meal so fixed left over whole grain pasta and tomto sauce for my girl and turkey & cheese paninis for me and my husband. Served with sliced tomatoes, cucumbers and watermelon from the farmers market it was just right. We did fire the oven up the other night to try the peach cobbler from one of your previous posts – throw in the last bit of blueberries too – heaven!!

  21. Jen T
    July 17, 2010 at 9:29 am

    Super beef taco at Taco Time – then 1 full bag of mini donuts at the Stampede grounds followed a couple of hours later with a half bag of mini donuts at the Stampede! YEEHAW!

  22. Donna
    July 17, 2010 at 9:44 am

    Last night we had black beans and rice from my old “full 0f beans” cookbook. Mixed green/ yellow beans and carrots and sourdough bread went with it.
    For dessert we tried the first attempt out of my new ice cream machine – basic vanilla. It finished up less thick than a slushie – and then froze for an hour – still not thick enough. We will try it again tonight after more freezer time. I froze the machine bowl for a day as per instructions-but was disappointed.

  23. Anne
    July 17, 2010 at 10:13 am

    Dinner was pork chops, corn, and rice a pretty plain meal but it was great to relax after a busy week.

  24. Bonnie
    July 17, 2010 at 10:14 am

    My son from Red Deer plus 5 friends stopped by on their way to the Crowsnest Pass for Rum Runner Days and the Thunder in the Valley fireworks. I had a few hours warning so made a huge lasagna, served it with caesar salad and garlic bread. Enjoyed by all with a enough left over for Dad and I tonight!

  25. Cathy
    July 17, 2010 at 10:18 am

    Last night I made baked shrimp and scallops with garlic, lemon and dill, roasted baby potatoes and sauteed green beans with garlic and chopped cashews. As you can tell, I use a LOT of garlic and love my garlic press. Don’t know who made it, but it has lasted for years.
    Love a good microplane grater!!

  26. Recipe for Delicious
    July 17, 2010 at 10:48 am

    You and I make guac pretty much the same. You’ve induced a bit of a craving. Luckily it’s grocery day!

  27. Erin M
    July 17, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Homemade pizza, Friday night pizza night! Pepperoni and cheese for the little guy and peppers, onions, mushrooms, banana peppers, garlic and feta for us. YUM.

  28. lafillenoisette
    July 17, 2010 at 11:35 am

    A piece of chocolate cake, some Rainier cherries and a glass of milk. It was just that kind of night. Wish I could have had that avocado salsa though!

    – Rachel

  29. Laurie
    July 17, 2010 at 11:55 am

    Hey Julie. A really easy and excellent way to make garlic really minced and almost ‘pasty’ is to roughly chop it, add a big pinch of kosher salt and then smear it a little bit at a time with your knife flat against the cutting board. Make sense? Kind of hard to explain, I guess. Chef Judy Wood taught me this technique and I LOVE it. I think she uses it during one of her Global TV segments online. The Grilled Herb Potato segment if I remember correctly. No waste whatsoever….(and easier on your fingers). However, I certainly LOVE my microplaners. I use them at least once a day for something.

  30. Jennifer Jo
    July 17, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    I have the ice cream maker, but not the microplane.

    Supper last night: Fish in Dark Sauce over Rice with Spinach and Tomatoes. Dessert was a blueberry-lemon pudding cake—we ate the whole thing.

  31. riverein
    July 17, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    A microplane? I’ve never used one. Supper last night: Sliced fennel bulb, small radishes, garlic scapes, one fantastic heirloom tomato. A bit of balsalmic vinaigarette dripped over it all. Tree Stone Bakery’s Blue Sky bread triangles with Blue de Bresse smeared over them. Yes, one day, you too can eat whatever you want for supper, every day, because you are the mistress of a household of one. Sometimes two.

  32. Elaine
    July 17, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    Popcorn! Lots and lots of it. I was on my own last night – it was delicious!

  33. Laurie in Burnaby
    July 17, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    Just getting back on my pins, again. (2 stints in the hospital will do that to you!)
    My kitchen looked really bare, so I dug through it and came out with a sweet potato which I roasted, frozen veges, and a chicken leg. I roasted the chicken leg, boiled the veges, and plumped them down beside the baked potato.
    It was glorious!

  34. Kalynskitchen
    July 17, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Sorry to hear about the arm; that doesn’t sound like much fun.

  35. Anonymous
    July 17, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    We had chicken satay peanut sauce and a salad. I got the recipe from you last night from your blog 🙂 It was GOOD!!! Thank you!! I sure could have used that little grater 🙂

  36. Sonja
    July 17, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    We had chicken satay peanut sauce and a salad. I got the recipe from you last night from your blog 🙂 It was GOOD!!! Thank you!! I sure could have used that little grater 🙂

  37. CatieP
    July 17, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    Last night we had plain chicken on the bbq (so moist!) that was supposed to be part of a ceasar salad but the lettuce had gone bad 🙁

    Tonight will be marinated pork chops (thyme, lime juice, salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar) with peaches (with balsamic vinegar) on the bbq – mmmm

  38. Barbara
    July 17, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    We had a feast: barbecued chicken skewers, spicey hot cold noodles, cucumbers with yogurt and dill, grilled vegetables, pita bread, then stawberry raspberry bavarians and coconut bundt cake. We had company.
    I don’t have a microplane, but I do have a brand new ice cream maker that I bought on sale at the Bay this week. A family member has stopped eating sugar and other sweeteners, and I’m looking for recipes to try in the new appliance – suggestions anyone?

  39. Avery
    July 17, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    I already have a microplane, and love it, and yesterday’s dinner wasn’t too exciting (bbq’d steak with home-made coleslaw)… but I wanted to know, where do you get such perfect avocadoes? We go through bags of them…

  40. Linda
    July 17, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    Chicken breasts
    – topped with broccoli and fried mushrooms.
    – Topped with monterey jack and parmesan cheese.
    This was all finally
    – topped with a blue cheese cream sauce.

    Broiled until golden and served with white rice.

    Made a mess of the kitchen but I didn’t have to clean up!

  41. Janet
    July 17, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    I have what I consider the perfect garlic press – it works absolutely great all the time. It’s made by Zyliss. I happened to pick it up at a thrift shop, but I have bought the same one in Calgary for each of my kids at Edelweiss Imports on 20 Ave. N.W. Supper was cottage cheese enchiladas in corn tortillas and a Mexican type salad – chopped tomatoes, avocado, corn, onion, cilantro mixed with lime juice and olive oil. Yum!

  42. Evelyn in Canada
    July 17, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    Supper last night was salmon with butter and dill, creamy pasta and a salad with mixed lettuce, brocolli and fresh peas from the garden. Oh, and roasted garlic since the salmon was in the toaster oven anyway and there was room on the tray. I love that the fact that the garden is now starting to pay it’s way. Supper is often whatever is ripe and ready.

    A microplane would have been great for the garlic last night.

  43. Margaret L
    July 17, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    Supper was stuffed roasted chicken, and salad.

    My microplane came from Lee Valley Tools, and is one of my favorite utensils in the kitchen. When I buy oranges, I grate the flesh on one, leaving it overnite in the microplane to dry. When sufficently dry, I store in a small spice jar. Today I used in a banana loaf that’s in the oven now. Finely grated orange is also great in a cranberry loaf.

    I cut up the “bald” orange for hubby’s evening snack.

  44. Melodie Telfer
    July 17, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    I made spagetti with tomatoes we froze last year when we couldn’t eat them fast enough, and fresh oregano from my herb garden. Didn’t realize that I had no spagetti noddles, so we ate it on rotini. Tossed salad with grated carrot, diced celery and wedged tomatoes. My kids gobbled it up.

    I also made avocado salsa for an evening snack while we watched a movie. Ate it with toasted whole wheat pitas, cut into wedges. Almost identical to your recipe. (Great cooks think alike?)

    I got the recipe from the August Canadian Living issue. Try the whole recipe, it’s great. It’s “lime-grilled chicken breasts with avocado salsa” Page 112. I cut the breasts into strips and grilled them on skewers. Whole grain rice on the side. The next day for lunch I tossed the leftover rice and salsa with a can of black beans (rised and drained) then wrapped it all in a tortilla. I love recipes that you can revamp the leftovers and serve the next day without being too repetative.

  45. Penny
    July 17, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    Pork tenderloin with gravy, noodles, green beans, and snow peas.

    Would love a microplane!

  46. Joanna
    July 17, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    I had a black bean burger topped with fresh-cut lettuce from my garden and a drizzle of balsamic. Yum.

  47. wanda
    July 18, 2010 at 12:12 am

    We had tacos!! Even my picky six year old ate one and said he enjoyed it.

  48. Julia
    July 18, 2010 at 6:02 am

    Last night we had carmalized onion and prosciutto pizza. My boys were busy in the garage fixing stuff and I was staying cool in the house, saw the last bit of pizza dough in the fridge and decided that’s what we’re having…Pizza!! It was yummy too!!

  49. Vivian
    July 18, 2010 at 11:01 am

    A wonderful friend made a birthday dinner for five last night. We started with Fresh Spring Pea Bisque, then a Spinach Salad with Orange and Cashew with a Sesame Vinaigrette. The main was a Lobster Pot Pie followed by a dreamy rich Dark Chocolate Mousse (a serving of about 2 cups each!)…too much for me to finish!

  50. Brigid
    July 18, 2010 at 11:04 am

    I made this:

    Best potato salad ever. And the chipotle gives it a distinct Stampede flavour. So good. ANd because it was my two year olds B-day we got cupcakes from Bliss & Co. Yum.

  51. Heather
    July 18, 2010 at 11:24 am

    Have you tried the Pampered Chef garlic press? I swear by it. It has a good weight to it, comes with a “thingy” to clean it and does a nice mince.

  52. Natalie (GA)
    July 18, 2010 at 11:48 am

    Vegi pizza from a wood burning oven…. best part … girl’s weekend escape …. wonderful times.

  53. Barb
    July 18, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    I’ve been looking for one of those graters and haven’t found one yet. I roasted a piece of beef and sliced some tomatoes and cukes. The pitcher of sangia was the best!

  54. Nest and Sparkle
    July 18, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Yum! This looks awesome, Julie, perfect for summer!

    We had friends over last night and gradually nibbled our way through roasted eggplant and red pepper dip, baguette with triple-cream brie, salmon pate, a spinach salad tossed with mango-blueberry salsa and baked risotto balls. All the while consuming far too much wine! 🙂

  55. Sue (London, ON)
    July 18, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Hi Julie!! I had a busy (not Julie busy, just busier than usual for me!) week in London. I spent some time volunteering with the Special Olympics. One of the most amazing things I’ve ever been involved with. So we too are having pizza tonight!
    I hope your arm heals fast. Have a great week.

  56. thepinkpeppercorn
    July 18, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    I make the EXACT same thing!

  57. Dahlia
    July 18, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    I love my three microplanes… but I did not need them tonight to make dinner: Squash blossoms stuffed with radishes, basil and cilantro (all from the garden) and fresh, shelled peas and ricotta. I usually pan fry the blossoms, but tonight I steamed them in a bit of water and a dab of butter.
    I’m so excited that local peas have arrived at the market!

  58. Dahlia
    July 18, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    By the way, Lee Valley Tools has the least expensive microplanes.

  59. Meta4
    July 18, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    Try the garlic press from Superstore,(Presidents Choise brand I think).
    It really works and a good price. Pampered Chef stuff is way to expensive.

  60. marcia
    July 18, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    bbq chicken corn on the cob and new potatoes all done on the bbq

  61. Kris
    July 18, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    just got home from a week camping holiday and was tired…so we just grilled up some burgers and threw together a salad.

  62. Donna
    July 18, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    Now we need that maple ice cream recipe —
    and some low sugar diabetic friendly ones for our ice cream machines (wistful thinking ? )

  63. Lesli Christianson-Kellow
    July 18, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    now I’m craving guacamole…I had something really good for dinner – quinoa salad that had: mango, cilantro, cucumber, spinach, green onion with a curry/cumin, white balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing. It was really simple to mix up and then I put a blob of hummus on top. I think you would like it!

  64. Kristin
    July 18, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    umm…dinner…yeah! Well, for lunch, being it was Sunday and all, we had a nice yummy pasta carbanara with zuchinni (man, I can’t spell). But for dinner, we had popcorn, kettle corn (homemade), applesauce (also homemade), and banana smoothies. Gourmet cooking!

  65. amelia
    July 19, 2010 at 6:58 am

    We had Vietnamese last nite – my sis had pho, I had bun (grilled pork & grilled shrimp!) plus a really yummy creamy mango milkshake.

  66. Ruth
    July 19, 2010 at 10:34 am

    Grilled Manitoba steaks with new potatos, corn on the cob, and ceasar salad. Almost all of which was cooked over the charcoal grill. Even the garlic bread for the ceasar salad crutons! It was so yummy. And I don’t have a microplane but would love one so that I could feel oh so food network starish!

  67. Lisa
    July 19, 2010 at 10:51 am

    I feel like a suck up for saying this, but I had pork satays from your book Grazing yesterday.

  68. Jodi
    July 19, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Last night was my son’s 5th birthday so he got to choose the menu. We had BBQ ribs, home-made mac and cheese(I snuck in some of the cheese that I smuggled back from France that’s been stinking up my fridge) and cauliflower. For dessert, we had a vanilla bean cake with vanilla bean and raspberry icing. It was so good, I’m in love with vanilla right now.

  69. Lisa King
    July 19, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    Microplane. Love it! It’s great for hard cheeses as well. BTW, for those who want one, you can buy a stainless steel rasp cheaper from LeeValley ( than in a kitchen store. I’ve had mine for years now and it’s still sharp.

  70. Sharlene
    July 19, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    Ooh this looks so refreshing and yummy! I can’t stand the stove burners on in this heat so it’s salads all the way.

  71. Melanie
    July 19, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    I made chicken burgers on the BBQ with ground chicken, sundried tomatoes, basil, fennel and lots of garlic, topped with provolone and fried onions and mushrooms. Delicious!

  72. Ashley
    July 19, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    We just had grilled ribeyes and smashed new potatoes and steamed broccoli. I just bought an ice cream maker(!!!!) and made fresh strawberry sorbet with a little Grand Marnier in it for dessert. Simple food that celebrates summer.

  73. Tami
    July 20, 2010 at 9:54 am

    I have a garlic press from Pampered Chef. I works well enough, but such a pain in the #&$ to clean! We had sweet & sour spare ribs, white rice, and mashed carrots & turnips. My kids almost licked their bowls clean…my husband actually did! 🙂

  74. Sarah
    July 22, 2010 at 9:36 am

    I did grilled turkey burgers with mango salsa and flatbread buns. I also had a VERY different version of Guacamole (before reading this post really) but it was still delish.

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