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Avocado-Mango Salad w/ Gorgonzola, Bacon, & Toasted Pepitas

A while ago, I made a pact with myself that I would start making more types of salads.  I believe it came about when I was slogging through a couple years worth of blog posts trying to make my index pages.  I realized then that I needed to expand my salad repertoire.  I think I've done a fairly good job of it since then.

Helpful hint?  Start an index page as soon as you start your blog.  It's extremely frustrating and time-consuming to wade through hundreds of posts trying to get your shit in order later.
But back to the point - salads.  They're not just for rabbits anymore.  The thing about me is, I usually find myself making meal-salads (as opposed to side-salads).  Salad as a meal is interesting, layered, complex.  Side salads are what I eat to get more roughage into my diet when it seems lacking.  And though I'm almost ashamed to admit favorite simple salad is just crispy Romaine with some lemon or lime juice squeezed over it.  I suppose in actuality, that's not really a salad.  Just lettuce.  So you see, commence salad repertoire expansion process?  It was definitely in order.

I definitely consider this a meal-salad.  The texture and flavor layers are insane.  Butter lettuce is crisp, yet soft and velvety.  Sweet juicy mango.  Creamy avocado.  Smoky, salty bacon.  Earthy toasted pepitas.  Pungent cheese.  All drizzled in a dressing that is all kinds of nutty, tangy, sweet, and hot all in the same mouthful.

Avocado-Mango Salad w/ Gorgonzola, Bacon, & Toasted Pepitas

by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Keywords: salad avocado bacon mango lettuce Mexican summer

Ingredients (serves 4)
    • 4 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled
    • ½ c. pepitas, toasted
    • ⅓ c. freshly squeezed lime juice
    • ⅓ c. olive oil
    • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
    • 1 small jalapeño, stemmed
    • 1 Tbs. honey
    • salt, to taste
    • 1 large head Butter lettuce, leaves separated
    • ¼ of a small head of radicchio, leaves torn
    • 2 large ripe California avocados
    • 2 mangoes
    • ~¾ c. gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
    Pour oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and jalapeño and cook, stirring regularly, until garlic is soft and lightly browned, ~5 minutes. Scrape everything into the jar of a blender. Add ⅓ of the toasted pepitas (save rest for salad), honey, and ~½ teaspoon of salt. Blend until smooth. Taste and add more salt if needed.

    Arrange lettuce and radicchio among salad plates. Pit the avocados, cut into slices, and scoop from flesh. Peel the mangoes and cut the flesh from the pit. Slice into pieces about the size of the avocado. Arrange both on top of the lettuce. Drizzle some dressing over everything and then sprinkle with reserved pepitas, crumbled bacon, and gorgonzola. Enjoy!

    adapted from Everyday Mexican
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