Heirloom tomato and avocado salad with crispy wontons and spicy cilantro vinaigrette

August 11, 2011

In 2009, I had the great pleasure of meeting Jaden Hair at her book signing in New York City. Jaden is a fantastic cook, and the talented author of the popular blog Steamy Kitchen. With her huge smile and endearing personality, Jaden never fails to light up the room.

Last week I was honored to contribute a guest post for Steamy Kitchen – and may I say, it was a thrill to create a recipe that would match both her personality and her gorgeous blog.

Since Jaden and I both adore fresh, bold, colorful salads, I decided to create a summery one, using heirloom tomatoes, ripe avocados and baby arugula from my garden. The whole salad is drizzled with a spunky cilantro vinaigrette that’s almost like a cilantro pesto (the pine nuts give the dressing a lovely creaminess).

Then the salad is garnished with crispy wonton strips that have been lightly sautéed in olive oil until they’re crunchy and golden-brown. Every bite is a delight, offering a marvelous array of flavors and textures.

To read my guest post for Jaden, click here. While you’re there, make sure to take a few minutes to peruse Jaden’s site. It’s filled with treasures that you’ll love to discover.

Heirloom Tomato and Avocado Salad with Crispy Wontons and Spicy Cilantro Vinaigrette

serves 4
active time: 20 min

For the wontons

  1. 12 square wonton noodles
  2. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  3. sea salt to taste

For the vinaigrette

  1. 1 oz (28gr) cilantro leaves (1 cup, tightly packed)
  2. 1 tablespoon pine nuts
  3. 1 garlic clove – skinned
  4. 2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
  5. 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup or organic sugar
  6. 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  7. 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  8. 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne

For the salad

  1. 5 oz (142gr) baby arugula – rinsed and spun dry
  2. 2 ripe avocados – cut in 1” pieces
  3. 1 1/4 lbs (567gr) mixed heirloom tomatoes – cut in 1” pieces
  4. freshly ground white pepper to taste

  1. Step 1: Cut the wontons in 1/4” strips. Heat a large frying pan at medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and wonton strips. Toss well, then sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until they become golden-brown, continuing to toss occasionally. Transfer wontons to a paper towel and sprinkle with the salt.
  2. Step 2: To make the vinaigrette – Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Process until creamy, about 1 minute, scraping the sides of the bowl once. Transfer to a small bowl.
  3. Step 3: Divide the arugula into 4 salad bowls. Top with the avocado and tomato pieces. Drizzle with the vinaigrette. Garnish with the crispy wontons. Sprinkle with the pepper and serve immediately.

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salads, heirloom tomatoes, avocado

Crispy wontons, step by step

Cut the wontons in 1/4″ strips.

Heat a large frying pan at medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and wonton strips.

Toss well, then sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until they become golden-brown, continuing to toss occasionally.

This is how the wontons look when they are done.

Transfer wontons to a paper towel and sprinkle with the salt.

For another colorful and summery salad, take a peek at this green bean and fresh chickpea salad with heirloom tomatoes and mint.

© 2011 Viviane Bauquet Farre Food & Style NY LLC

Disclaimer: As always, my point of view is my own. I do not accept samples, and have no commercial relationship with any product, food or wine company.

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Peggy August 13, 2011 at 5:16 pm

This salad sounds so perfect for summer! The cilantro vinaigrette sounds just as delicious – and I think I would want to drizzle it on everything from vegetables to pizza!


Viviane August 13, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Peggy! Thank you so much for your comment. You’re right, the cilantro vinaigrette is luscious and delicious on its own. It’s fabulous with grilled veggies, but I hadn’t thought about drizzling it on pizza – you’re inspired!


Sandra's Easy Cooking August 13, 2011 at 9:08 pm

This really looks fantastic, I love how colorful and refreshing it looks..just perfect for summer light dinner..Congrats on the guest post..I will check it out for sure! Have a wonderful weekend!


Viviane August 17, 2011 at 12:52 am

Thank you so much Sandra! I hope you enjoyed Jaden’s blog and had a delicious weekend to boot!


Claire August 15, 2011 at 11:39 am

beautiful post, great pictures and i love the idea of adding crispy wontons on top. thanks for sharing!


Curt August 15, 2011 at 1:41 pm

I love cilantro. A lot actually. I put it into a lot of foods.

I like the crispy wontons on top. That must taste really great.


Tina@flourtrader August 15, 2011 at 2:01 pm

I really like the ingredients in this salad and the crispy wontons are a great touch. Glad you got a guest post over at Jaden’s-I will pop over there and take a look.


Vegan Yack Attack August 15, 2011 at 5:04 pm

Wow, this looks so good! And the vinaigrette… I’ll definitely be making that soon!


Baltic Maid August 15, 2011 at 7:06 pm

This looks amazing! The pictures and food are gorgeous!


Dave at eRecipeCards August 15, 2011 at 7:41 pm

Great post so many delicious details, and how to photos!


Liz August 15, 2011 at 9:36 pm

Oh, how wonderful!! Perfect for peak tomato season…this looks so delicious~


Mandy @ Cater to Me August 15, 2011 at 10:06 pm

I have some extra wonton wrappers from making raviolis and I needed a recipe to use them for…this look absolutely phenomenal!! Thank you for sharing!


Tiffany August 16, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Beautiful colors and textures!


Jennifer @ eatyourvegetable August 16, 2011 at 8:09 pm

The flavors sound perfect…and the photos are gorgeous! I’ll have to make this soon, I’ve been craving avocados as of late…and cilantro is in the fridge, begging to be used.


Viviane August 17, 2011 at 12:54 am

A very big thank you to everyone for your wonderful comments – Smiling from ear to ear!


briarrose August 19, 2011 at 5:19 pm

Yummy. My family would be over the moon for this vinaigrette…..such a great mix of flavors.


joan kovats September 18, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Hello Viviane,

Would you have a recipe for butternut squash? Thanks. Joan Kovats


Viviane September 19, 2011 at 10:36 am
Donna Ford September 18, 2011 at 11:58 pm

Great recipe Viviane and beautiful photo’s! I look forward to reading your guest post!


El September 24, 2011 at 9:44 pm

This salad looks wonderful. Headed over to Jaden’s site now…


mjskit July 28, 2012 at 11:34 pm

Another fabulous salad! the vinaigrette with the cilantro sounds quite good and something we would love in this house! Love the way the fried wontons add a touch of crispiness to the salad, something every salad should have.


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