I have a theory that the Super Bowl is the late winter, sports-centric version of Thanksgiving. Roll with me for a minute – it’s a date established well in advance, guaranteed to inspire water cooler “What are you doing for X?” conversations, when people gather together over a buffet of decadent treats coupled with license to over-indulge in comfort foods we don’t eat the rest of the year, oh and by the way there’s a hotly anticipated football game.
Tell me that doesn’t sound exactly like Thanksgiving, and if I had to guess, whether you bleed neon turquoise or never heard of Peyton Manning before, you probably are coming out of a pigs in a blanket induced coma, or like me are wondering what possessed you to eat an avalanche of Nacho Cheese Doritos.
Which brings me to the present moment, time to re-group and balance out with something bright, fresh, and (thank goodness) delicious. I continue to be obsessed with sweetgreen and I’m a huge fan of their Guacamole Greens salad, so of course I had to try to make it at home. At risk of sounding smug I think I nailed it.
The baby kale is both tender enough to eat right away and tough enough to be dressed in advance and still retain its crunch, while the red onion, avocado, and lime juice mingle to evoke all that’s awesome about guacamole. Super easy to ramp up the proportions for a group or make an individual serving. Keep this one in your back pocket.
“Guacamole” Greens (serves 4 as an entrée)
1 1/2 - 2 pounds chicken breast, bone-in skin-on
10 ounces baby kale leaves
2 ripe Haas avocados, large diced
8 ounces grape or cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
5 tablespoons minced red onion
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
4 tablespoons (2 medium limes) freshly squeezed lime juice
Coarse ground black pepper
Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and place skin side up on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle the skin with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle both sides generously with kosher salt and ground black pepper.
Roast at 400 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until the thickest part of the chicken registers 160 degrees F. on an instant read thermometer.
When the chicken is done, set aside to cool.
When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and dice the meat in large pieces, about 1/2 inch. Set aside while you prep the vegetables.
Place the kale leaves in a large mixing bowl. Slice the cherry tomatoes in halves or quarters, finely mince the red onion, open the avocados and dice into large pieces placing each prepared ingredient in the bowl with the kale. Next, add the cilantro leaves and diced, cooled chicken to the salad.
Finally, squeeze the limes over the salad, then sprinkle with 3 teaspoons kosher salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Toss all the ingredients together until evenly distributed and coated with the seasonings. The avocado will soften slightly and combine with the lime juice, salt and pepper to form the dressing.
Taste and adjust the seasoning to your preference. Best if served immediately, but will also hold dressed in the refrigerator overnight.
Small Kitchen Friendly?
Yes! I used a rimmed baking sheet, large mixing bowl, medium cutting board, chef’s knife, measuring spoons, and a large wooden mixing spoon.
As I was testing and fiddling with the final seasonings we ate this salad four times in less than a week. Normally grounds for complaint from my chief taste-tester who likes a bit more variety in his dinners, but this time not a peep even on the fourth night. We both love guacamole seasoned with plenty of zingy lime and a generous sprinkle of salt and this salad fits the bill 100% while still providing a healthy and satisfying meal. A definite go-to from now on.