Avocado, olive & basil salad

Avacado & olive salad

[I apologize for posting a couple of times today. We’re going away for the weekend, and I don’t want to fall too far behind!]

My boys have a book called Mixed-up Animals. Each page has a picture of an animal and is broken into three sections. You can turn a part of the page to line up another animal with the first. In this way, you can make a creature with platypus feet, an armadillo body, and a caribou head. A platadillibou. They’ve also always loved the game exquisite corpse, in which each person draws part of a creature without seeing what the others have drawn. Isaac still gets very excited when the paper is unfolded to reveal a mis-matched monster! This salad reminds me a little of that. It’s part tapenade (olives & capers) part guacamole (avocado & tomato), part pesto (nuts & basil), and part caprese (mozzarella, tomato, basil). I had a just-ripe avocado, and a small bowl of nicoise olives. These got the rusty little wheels turning in my brain, and the rest just sort of fell into place!! So you end up with guacenade. Or tapamole. Whatever you call it, it’s delicious! We had it with some crusty bread, but you could make it into crostini, or serve it with big chips. Or just throw it onto a pile of mixed lettuces and call it a mixed salad!

She’s Strange – she’s got two double heads, two left legs, and her nose looks like the knees of a nanny goat, but Screamin Jay Hawkins loves her!!

1 ripe avocado, cut into 1/3 inch chunks.
1 medium-sized tomato (or the equivalent amount of smaller tomatoes)
1/2 cup nicoise olive, pitted and chopped. (Any other olives would do!)
2 t capers
a small handful of fresh basil, roughly chopped
1/4 cup sliced almonds – crushed
1/2 cup mozzarella, cut into tiny cubes
salt/pepper
a shake or two of cayenne
olive oil
splash balsamic or lemon or lime juice.

Combine everything in a small bowl. Add just enough olive oil to coat everything lightly, and a splash of balsamic to bring out all of the flavors.

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