As November marches on, we begin to get excited for our upcoming Thanksgiving meals. Holidays can be fraught, but—in its best incarnation—this particular gathering is about appreciating the bounty of food and love that surrounds us.
That said, certain elements of an otherwise delectable spread may often prove lackluster. While it’s hard to improve on awesome stuffing and cranberry sauce, the vegetable dishes on offer are often heavy or unappetizing (think green bean casseroles and overcooked Brussel sprouts).
Vegetables don’t have to be afterthoughts. Here, Chef Kevin Meehan of LA’s new Kali Restaurant shares the recipe for his super fresh Charred Avocado Salad, perfect for brightening up the Thanksgiving table:
Charred Avocado Salad
4 ripe avocados (suggested variety: Fuerte)
2 tbsp avocado honey (or your favorite type of honey)
1 tbsp avocado oil
Salt & pepper, to taste
¼ cup pistachios, roasted and chopped
2 lemons, juiced
½ cup pistachio oil
½ cup avocado oil
Fresh chives, minced
Preserved lemons, to taste
Salt & pepper, to taste
Salad Mix Ingredients:
Handful of thinly shaved vegetables (baby carrots, broccoli, celery, turnips, radish, etc.)
Bowl of ice water
Handful of mixed baby kale
- Half and pit avocados (leave skin on). Using a pastry brush, glaze the avocados liberally with the avocado honey (or honey of your choice) and season with salt and pepper.
- Heat oil in a hot sauté pan. Sear avocado halves, flesh side down, in oil until golden brown and caramelized.
- Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
- Mix all dressing ingredients together and set aside.
- Shave all of the vegetables on a mandolin. Refresh in a bowl of ice water.
To assemble salad:
- Using a spoon, scoop out avocado carefully, leaving flesh in one piece. Lay one half on a plate, and drizzle with dressing.
- Remove shaved vegetables from ice water and dry.
- In a bowl, toss the vegetables with the baby kale and add the dressing. (Note: ratio of kale to vegetables can vary according to personal preference.)
- Place half the salad mix on top the plated avocado, and top with the second avocado half to create the visual of a sandwich. Scatter the rest of the salad mix around the plate.
- Finish with dressing on top and around the plate.
— Kevin Meehan
Kali is the passion project of longtime friends and professional colleagues Chef Kevin Meehan (Patina, Bastide, L'Orangerie) and Drew Langley, formerly the wine director at the seminal, Michelin-starred, Providence. An evolution of Meehan's roving private dinner party pop-up, Kali offers Meehan’s nuanced twist on contemporary California cuisine, ingredient-focused cocktails, accompanied by a premier wine program curated by Langley.