This simple tomato, cucumber, and avocado salad gets a spicy Mexican-flavor kick from jalapeños and a fresh lime and chile dressing that makes it a terrific side dish for any meal.
I’m not a chef. I’m a home cook. But many of my recipes are inspired by dishes I’ve enjoyed that were created by real life chefs. It’s one of my favorite reasons for eating out, to get new inspiration for le bloggity blog.
I had a rendition of this simple tomato salad at a restaurant called Monkeypod Kitchen while vacationing in Maui. A friend of mine who lived in Maui for a time messaged me while we were there that we MUST make it a point to eat at Monkeypod, it was one of her favorites.
Friend recommendations are always the best.
The menu was full of delicious, fresh fare, and being the tomato caprese salad lover that I am, once I spied this salad with a flavorful twist on their menu, I was immediately intrigued.
While it was created and served in the Maui tropics, this salad has a decidedly Mexican feel. Cilantro serves as it’s base where arugula or basil might star in the Italian version. If you’re not a cilantro fan, feel free to leave it out altogether, or substitute with chopped flat leaf Italian parsley.
Chopped jalapeños give it a spicy bite. If you’re looking for a milder taste, be sure to remove the seeds and ribs that contain most of the heat.
Cucumbers and sweet Maui onions give it a crunch that plays well with the creamy avocado I love so much. I used English cucumbers and seeded the pulpy middle out. English cucumbers have a peel that’s more tender than traditional salad cucumbers, so there’s no need to remove them.
One of my husband’s favorite snacks is Pepinos con limon, or sliced cucumbers with a squeeze of lemon, salt and chile powder. In the summer time, he eats plates of them like candy. The same ingredients with a pinch of sugar go into this salad’s lime and chile vinaigrette, brightening the already healthy salad with a puckery punch.
I use cocktail or Campari tomatoes on a daily basis. They’re sweeter than regular tomatoes I find in the store, so naturally, they’re my go-to. Next time I’ll try this salad with little cherry tomatoes as well, to give the salad a little more dimension, and once summer hits, you can bet I’ll be playing with tomatoes of every heirloom color for this dish.
The whole thing comes together in just about 10 minutes, making this salad a favorite for all the eaters, restaurant chefs, and home cooks alike.
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
- 1 hot house English cucumber, seeded and sliced into ¼-inch slices
- 2 avocados, peeled, pitted and sliced into ½-inch chunks
- 8-10 Campari or cocktail size tomatoes, halved and then quartered
- ¼ Maui onion, thinly sliced
- 1 jalapeno, sliced
- 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- Juice of 2 limes, about ¼ cup
- ¼ teaspoon chile powder
- Generous pinch of sugar
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In a large bowl, add the cucumber, avocados, tomatoes, onion, jalapeño and cilantro leaves. In a small bowl, mix the canola oil with the lime juice, chile powder, sugar and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Pour over the salad ingredients and lightly toss to coat. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
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