(Want to know how I meal plan a month in minutes? Here's how!)
I don’t know about you, but over here, we’re just starting to get into grilling season! Honestly, I tend to leave the actual grilling part to Mr Meatified, which means my contributions to these meals is really only the side dishes or the occasional marinade. I’m ok with this – it’s nice for me to take a little bit of a backseat sometimes. Letting someone else take care of the main dish is also fun because forces me to get a little more creative! However good the grilling is, nobody wants to eat the same boring sides with every meal, so I try to come up with new ideas as often as I can.
Fresh salsa is one of my favorite, easy ways to bring some punchy flavor to a meal without lots of effort. This strawberry salsa is no exception to that rule! I opted to mix things up a little with the fresh mint rather than cilantro (guacamole style) or basil (classic strawb pairing) and it goes beautifully with the strawberries, especially when they are left to marinate in the lime juices for a while.
Because I didn’t want that beautiful, seasonal & summery fruit to be overpowered, I went with green onions over diced red onion. To keep everything nightshade free, I’ve added some diced radishes for heat and crunch instead of jalapeno or similar.
You can serve the strawberry salsa on the side of grilled chicken, seafood or even a burger or two. It’s so refreshing and since it doesn’t read overly sweet, it’s really the perfect accompaniment to whatever you’re cooking up outside in the summer. Here I’ve turned it into a quick and simple appetizer, scooping the strawberry salsa into avocado halves to serve. You can make the salsa ahead of time, spooning it into the avo halves whenever you’re ready to eat. The result is a blend of flavors that take the familiar avocado + salsa pairing into “wow, great combo!” territory.
If you want to spin this dish into a little more of a savory direction, I highly recommend sprinkling your filled avocado halves with my Nut Free Vegan “Parmesan” Sprinkles. And if you want an easier to take and transport version of this dish, whip up a batch of my Strawberry Guacamole with Green Onion, Radish & Mint for your next cookout!
Want to see the original photo of this recipe?
I originally published this post in June of 2013. Before my book deal, before I had a proper camera, before I knew anything about styling or presentation at all. Here’s what it used to look like:
I could bore you with all the details of the technical things that make my newer photos look so much better, four years later. But really, it all comes down to one, simple thing: practice. And a dash of perseverance. There’s been four years of creating and making, plating and styling, taking and tweaking that have all built up to the images I take today.
I do have posts on the site that will walk you through my photo kit and my favorite photography resources, but although both of those are useful, don’t forget that so much of becoming better at something is just to keep on at it. Keep learning, keep trying new things and never try to be someone else.
Avocado with Strawberry Salsa
A simple, fresh appetizer – perfect for those grilling days!
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Total Time: 15 mins
- Yield: 4 - 6
- 2 cups / 300 g diced strawberries
- 1 cup / 45 g chopped green onions (about 4 large)
- 1/4 cup / 35 g diced radish (about 3)
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint leaves
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 – 3 avocados
Optional, to serve:
- Drizzle of olive oil
- Sprinkle of Nut Free Parmesan Sprinkles
- CHOP: Wash and hull the strawberries, then chop them finely into an even dice. Finely slice the green onions and discard the root ends. Top and tail the radishes, then dice those finely, too.
- STIR: Add the strawberries, green onion, radishes and chopped mint to the bowl along with the lime juice and season with salt, to taste. Stir to combine. If you like, let the strawberry salsa marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature to let the flavors mingle, then stir everything through again.
- SERVE: Halve the avocados, removing and discarding the pits. Cut a very thin slice from the rounded side of the avocado halves to give them a flat base – this makes them easier to plate and less wobbly to eat from! Spoon the strawberry salsa into the avocado halves, dividing it evenly between them. If you like, drizzle them with a little olive oil and sprinkle them with a little Nut Free Parmesan Sprinkles just before serving.
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