I love traditional cucumber salad during the summer months! Every nutritionist that I hear from lately seems to be advocating avocados as one of the best foods you can eat, because they are packed with nutrients and heart-healthy compounds. Many of my summer salads contain the not so healthy mayonnaise, which can be replaced in part by the perfectly ripe avocado! Yes, avocados are also high in fat; but it’s monounsaturated fat, which is a “good” fat that helps lower bad cholesterol. It’s okay to eat them as long as it’s in moderation. Optimally ripe avocados are typically known for their silky, creamy texture and rich flavor. A ripe, ready-to-eat avocado is slightly soft but should have no dark sunken spots or cracks.
If you can’t find ripe ones at the store, a firmer, less mature fruit can be ripened at home by leaving them sit on the counter for a few days. To determine the ripeness, hold the avocado very gently in your palm and begin to press gently against its surface. A ripe avocado will yield to very gentle pressure, without feeling squishy. You shouldn’t refrigerate them until they are ripe; but once ripe, they can be kept refrigerated for about a week. If you are refrigerating avocado, it is best to keep it whole and not slice it in order to avoid browning that occurs when the flesh is exposed to air. Try substituting some mayo with avocado and even those who typically don’t “like” them, won’t notice the change! This salad was whipped together with ingredients that I had on hand for a recent gathering at the lake and it was a crowd pleaser!
3 Cups Cucumber, sliced thin
3 Tablespoons Sweet Onion, sliced thin
1 Cup Grape Tomatoes, halved
1 Avocado, ripe, peeled and mashed
3 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons Dried Dill
1 Tablespoon Sugar
2 Tablespoons White Vinegar
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Slice the cucumbers and onion very thin and set aside.
Using a whisk, blend the ripe avocado, mayo, vinegar and sugar until smooth.
Gently stir in the cucumbers, onions and dill until smooth. Stir in tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Serve chilled.