Avospiration For Your Heritage Month Meals

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Bunny chow, potjiekos, shisa nyama, koeksisters and biltong. Some foods are so woven into our heritage, it’s impossible to be South African and not love them. Another thing that’s proudly South African? Homegrown avos, of course, and no Heritage Month would be complete without them!

With the arrival of the warmer weather, it’s the perfect time to ditch the hot comfort foods of winter for the zesty freshness of spring-themed salads. Avos are bold and bright, and as refreshing as a spring breeze, putting them on top of the ingredient list when it comes to salads for your Heritage Month picnic or braai.

Speaking of braais, September is also Braai4Heritage Month – and what’s a spring braai without salads, or salads without avo, right? Spring, braais, salads and avos, they all go hand-in-hand like boerie and rolls with an extra dollop of chakalaka.

There’s no shortage of inspiration for sumptuous salads for the braai. Continue your family’s time-honoured salad traditions like potato salad, pasta salad or three bean salad and add an avo for a springtime twist or try one of the season’s new braai salads for size.

This Heritage Month we’re whisking up avocado and iceberg salad with avocado and cashew nut cream dressing. It’s rich and creamy, with a hint of dill adding a Mediterranean touch (which makes it particularly well suited to al fresco dining!)

But we’re also adding avos as our braai sides: as guacamole with chilli on grilled mielies; cubed with chopped tomatoes and cucumber for the original braai slaai; and halved, stoned, seasoned and dressed with avocado oil and lemon juice for a no-fuss serving of green goodness.

We all know the best part about having a braai are the leftovers you get to enjoy the next day. Well, we’re delighted to say there are avo salad recipes for those days as well. Chicken and avo club salad gets our vote, because not only is it fresh and tangy, but filling too.

As if you needed any more reasons to whip up an avo-laced salad this Heritage Month, consider for a second that it’s the ultimate feel-good food that’s also load-shedding friendly!

Get out your vellies, dust off your vuvuzela and fly the flag high, because it’s Heritage Month and South African avocados are on the menu.

Avocado & Iceberg Salad with Avocado & Cashew Nut Cream Dressing
  • Serves 4 
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes

For the salad:

  • ½ small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 65 ml (¼ cup) lemon juice
  • ½ small iceberg lettuce, quartered
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) dill, finely chopped
  • 2 large avocados, peeled, stoned and sliced

For the dressing:

  • 250 ml (1 cup) cashew nuts, salted and roasted, soaked overnight (soaked in water)
  • 65 ml (¼ cup) lemon juice
  • 1 avocado, peeled, stoned and quartered
  • 65 ml (¼ cup) water
  • Pinch of salt and black pepper
  • 65 ml (¼ cup) avocado or olive oil
  1. Soak the onion slices in lemon juice to pickle slightly and remove the raw flavour, for about 10 minutes.
  2. To make the dressing, place cashew nuts, lemon juice, oil and avocado in a food processor and blend until smooth, adding the water through the feeder tube until a pouring consistency is reached.
  3. To serve, arrange lettuce wedges and onion on a platter. Top with avocado slices and drizzle with dressing and garnish with chopped dill. Serve immediately.

20-Minute Meal – Chicken and Avocado Club Salad

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  • Serves 4 
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 10 minutes
  • ½ French loaf or baguette
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) avocado or olive oil
  • 4 pancetta or bacon slices
  • 2 eggs, boiled and cooled
  • 100 g (⅓ cup) mayonnaise
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) white wine vinegar
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) wholegrain mustard
  • 1 pkt mixed salad leaves
  • 1 avocado, peeled, stoned and thinly sliced
  • 500 ml (2 cups) cooked chicken breast or leftover roast chicken, sliced
  • 125 ml (½ cup) finely chopped chives
  1. Heat a grill pan to medium-high. Use a serrated knife to cut the baguette diagonally into 5 mm-thick slices. Brush with a little of the oil. Cook on the grill until lightly toasted, about 1 minute each side. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  2. Cook the pancetta or bacon on the grill until crisp, about 1 minute on each side. Transfer to a plate and break into shards.
  3. Peel the eggs and cut in half.
  4. Combine the mayonnaise, vinegar and mustard in a small bowl.
  5. Arrange the lettuce and avocado on a large serving plate and top with the baguette. Sprinkle over the pancetta and chicken and drizzle with the mayonnaise dressing and top with egg. Season to taste and sprinkle with chives to serve.

For further information and avo recipes, visit www.avocado.co.za