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Grilled Avocado and Prosciutto Salad

With the entertaining season just around the corner, it can’t hurt to have a reliably simple yet impressive recipe under your belt. Treat your friends and family to this unique and sophisticated salad-with-a-flair. This nutritious feast showcases a wide range of natural textures and flavors that peak in spring, but it’s so refreshing that you won’t be able to resist pulling this recipe out all year round.

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Makes 6 generous servings

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 7 ounces arugula, rinsed and dried
  • 4 firm, ripe avocados
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup honey toasted pecans
  • 5 ounces mature cheddar *
  • 4-5 blood oranges
  • Lemon or lime juice

For the dressing:

  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¾ olive oil
  • 2 tbs finely chopped cilantro
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp brown sugar, optional

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Method

  1. Halve and pit the avocados. Carefully scoop the flesh out with a spoon, keeping it all in one piece.

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2. Drizzle each avocado half with a few drops of lemon or lime juice and some olive oil, then sprinkle with salt. Gently rub this coating to evenly distribute all over the avocados. Reserve any remaining juice for finishing.

3. Place each avocado half flat-side down on a griddle pan over medium-high heat. Grill for about 2-3 minutes, watching carefully, or until the avocados have deep char marks.

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4. Flip each avocado half, and continue grilling for 1-2 more minutes. Remove, cut each half lengthwise down the middle, and set aside for now.

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5. Prepare the rest of the salad: Slice the prosciutto into ribbons roughly the size of your index finger, and set aside. Peel the blood oranges and, using a paring knife, remove slivers of the citrus flesh from the membranous skins by slicing on either side of each membrane to free the wedges of fruit. Roughly cut the cheese into ½-inch cubes.

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6. Toss the arugula, cheese, prosciutto, toasted pecans and oranges into a large serving bowl, gently stirring to combine.

7. Make the dressing: In a separate bowl, beat the vinegar, oil, and sugar to combine. Add salt, pepper and a dash of lemon or lime juice, to taste. Stir in the chopped cilantro.

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8. Drizzle the dressing evenly over the salad and stir throughout. Roughly tear the cilantro leaves from earlier, and sprinkle over the salad for garnish. Finally, gently place the grilled avocado pieces on top of the salad. Enjoy!

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