My sister hates avocados. I know, take a moment and fathom what that must be like. Yeah, neither can I. I think they are quite possibly one of the worlds most perfect foods, right up there with spinach and tomatoes. Guacamole salad is so full of yummy avocadoey guacamole flavor, that sometimes you might feel a little guilty for eating it by the spoonful. I did, which is why I decided to try adding a bit of quinoa to it.
This recipe is actually a variation of the guacamole salad recipe I shared a few years ago. I make it all the time...it's a perfect summery BBQ salad that most people tend to love. People that are not my sister of course.
Off topic a bit, but don't you love these little mini sweet peppers that are popping up in stores these days? I used to be obsessed with snap peas. Now I'm obsessed with these...they are so fun to snack on and are perfect for this salad because you can get all of the phenomenal pepper colors without having to buy three full peppers.
The basic ingredients are the same from Barefoot Contessa's original recipe: black beans, peppers, tomatoes and avocados. Somewhere along the way though, I started adding a handful of cilantro to the dressing because cilantro is awesome.
And of course this time, a cup of cooked quinoa. I really loved the addition of the quinoa this time, so much that it'll become a permanent part of the recipe. It adds a a pretty healthy protein packed fill to the salad that still retains all of the original guacamole flavor.
The original recipe called for "gently folding in the avocados." You can of course do that and the avocados stay the same size and are separate bites within the salad. I chose to roughly cut and roughly stir so that the avocado mushed up and the salad became a lot less like salad and a lot more like guacamole. Only caveat is that you obviously have to add the avocados right before serving and the salad definitely does not keep. That's okay because there are usually aren't any leftovers anyway.
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa At Home
1.5 cups quinoa
1 cup water
3 small tomatoes diced
1.5 cups diced red, yellow and/or orange sweet peppers diced
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup small diced red onion
2 tablespoons minced jalapeno peppers, seeded (2 peppers)
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
Juice of one lime
1/4 cup cilantro
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 ripe Hass avocados, seeded, peeled, and 1/2-inch diced
- Add quinoa and water to small saucepan and bring to slight boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and let cook for 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and allow to sit for additional 10 minutes. Remove lid, fluff with fork and allow to cool completely
- Place the tomatoes, pepper, black beans, red onion, jalapeño peppers and quinoa in a large bowl.
- In a small food processor, puree cilantro, lime zest, lime juice, olive oil, salt, black pepper, garlic, and cayenne pepper until dressing is emulsified.
- Pour over the vegetables and quinoa and toss well.
- Just before you're ready to serve the salad, fold the avocados into the salad. Check the seasoning and serve at room temperature.