And so we woke up on Saturday morning to find ourselves knee-deep in morning errands, but the weather was so thrilling and bright that we postponed everything and went for a long stroll with our friends’ dog, whom we were babysitting. But then morning errands were still calling, and off we were, running in different directions.
Afternoon held promises of brunch with friends and the sun pouring so generously upon our heads, we said al fresco brunching it is! But then KS had an even better idea – why schlep all over lower Manhattan in search for an outdoor idyll, when we can serve mimosas and barbecue on our own deck? Why indeed?
And so in a blink of an eye, ingredients were bough; deck furniture uncovered; and the barbecue fired up. KS, showed off his expert manly barbecuing skillz (that’s with a z for y’all, ‘cause we ain’t playin’ here) while I tended to all things vegetarian – an avocado mint salad with citrus dressing and strawberries in sugar/balsamic syrup over blood orange and coconut sorbets.
It is with mint in mind, that I went to the store and picked up a ripe avocado, some Boston lettuce (to pay homage to my hometown) and a red onion.
With some phenomenal barbecued chicken, grilled sausage and beef as well as vegetable/turkey burgers (that is four types of meat, people!), we sipped our mimosas and tropical screwdrivers, and accessorized our plates with the avocado mint salad. It was after 3 o’clock and as far as brunches go, it was a rather late one. By the end, we were sufficiently pickled in our brunch liquor as we rolled into a Saturday evening, hiccuping and giddy, wishing all brunches were like this.
And I think it will be wrong if I don’t plant some mint for us this year – I’ll just wind up buying it every other day, making mojitos, lemonades, limeades, salads, iced mint tea, yogurt dip! Let’s hope I have a green thumb!
Ingredients for Salad:
½ head Boston lettuce
½ medium red onion
3 sprigs of mint, finely chopped
Ingredients for Citrus-Shallot Vinaigrette:
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 orange
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
½ of a shallot finely minced
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp freshly ground pink pepper
½ tsp grade A maple syrup
zest from the lemon and orange that you juiced (easier to zest prior to juicing, btw)
Rip lettuce into bite-sized pieces and slice the avocado in thin, long slices. Add chopped onion and mint to lettuce and mix well. Place avocado on top of the mixed ingredients.
Combine all ingredients for the salad dressing and mix well. Pour as much of the dressing as you prefer on a salad. I’m of the less-is-more school of thought, but some people really like to soak the salad with the dressing. The upside of this dressing is that it’s low-fat, good for you, and is relatively light. If you’re not a cayenne lover, as KS and I are, you might want to avoid it altogether or add a little more and build up upon your taste. KS has never met a cayenne intensity he couldn’t match, so I could’ve easily added more. That is if I wanted to permanently burn the taste buds off my tongue. When it comes to spice tolerance, he has me beat by a long shot. I cry uncle long before he does.