During my December work trip to Los Angeles, I found some much needed friend-time with Lily of Kale & Caramel. Her little apartment feels like a home away from home to me, so I’m always excited to get an invite over. We passed up going out for dinner and instead we drank tea and stood in her kitchen talking about blogging and videos and boys and city life and food.
She made me this incredible kitchen-sink style salad where she added all the bits and bobs she needed to use up in her refrigerator. (If you didn’t already know, Lily is an expert at not wasting food.) She put radishes on it and squash and feta and even chunks of bread. Yeah, bread.
Would I have ever just cut up bread, toasted it in olive oil, and then put it in a salad? Probably not. But that’s the beauty of getting to be in other people’s kitchens. You learn so much. And people almost always surprise you.
Usually this is when the greatest ideas happen.
AKA. The birth of avocado toast salad.
It started as a joke, and turned into a full blown recipe/video idea. (The real conversation is basically the same one that we have in the video.) Scroll past the recipe to watch!
We laughed about putting avocado toast IN our salads, since most avocado toast is just a fancy mini salad on bread. So we thought, why not invert the idea? And then we thought, WHY NOT INVERT THE IDEA???? An avocado toast salad with mini bites of avocado toast in it is GENIUS.
And thus the salad of a generation was born. Be excited.
Avocado Toast Salad
This avocado toast salad topped with mini avo toast, radish, cucumber, feta, pickled onion, and a lemon tahini dressing is a literal millennial fever dream.
- 2 small to medium shallots, very thinly sliced (sub 1 small red onion)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup white vinegar (sub red wine vinegar)
- 1/2 tablespoon sea salt
- 1/2 tablespoon sugar (sub sweetener of choice)
- 1/2 tablespoon whole coriander seeds (sub fennel or cumin)
- 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- a few dashes liquid aminos (sub tamari)
- 2 slices bread, 3/4" thick, toasted
- 1 small-medium avocado
- flaky sea salt + cracked pepper, to garnish
- 4-5 cups greens of choice (my favorite is butter lettuce!) (If using kale, massage with 1 tablespoon of olive oil)
- 1/3 cup cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup radish, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta
Lemon Tahini Dressing
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 6 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, grated or minced
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Quick-Pickled Shallots (make at least 20 minutes before serving.)
Add the shallots to a 12 or 16 ounce glass jar. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, combine water, vinegars, salt, sugar, and coriander. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once boiling, remove from heat and pour the brine over the shallots. Make sure the shallots are fully covered. Cool, and refrigerate for 20 minutes before serving.
Dry toast the sunflower and pumpkin seeds in a small frying pan over medium heat until they turn golden brown, about 2-3 minutes.
Transfer to a small bowl and toss with a few dashes of liquid aminos.
Assemble your avocado toast by topping your toasted bread with smashed or sliced avocado. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and cracked pepper. Cut into 1" cubes.
If using kale, massage with oil in a medium serving bowl. If using another kind of lettuce, simply add it to the medium serving bowl and top with cucumber, radish, feta, and avocado toast.
Lemon Tahini Dressing.
In a glass jar or small bowl, combine all dressing ingredients. Whisk vigorously until smooth and creamy. Drizzle over salad.
Long distance friendships are hard, and honestly I’m not very good at them. If we’re talking about the five love languages, my strongest is quality time. Which means that if I don’t get to be around you often, I have a hard time connecting.
This is super unfortunate because I have moved from Athens to Los Angeles to Atlanta and now to New York and have many people that I love all over this country. Yet, I’m not great at keeping in touch. It’s a fault in my character. One that I would like to improve upon.
However there are some special humans, that are easy to connect with despite the distance. Or at least they make it easy. No matter how much time or space is between us.
I have quite a few of those across these United States, but I must say that Lily – she’s a special one. She has a true gift of keeping connected. She’s a person who’s always willing to talk it out. She carves out time and space in her world for me. When I’m in a panic that I don’t know how to blog and WTF is freelancing anyway, I call Lily.
When I’ve gone on the weirdest date ever, I call Lily.
When I need to know about an herb, I call Lily.
She’s a wealth of knowledge and kindness.
So when I visit LA, her house is always a priority to visit. She opens her kitchen and her heart all in one swift motion. She gives me advice and shares her heart. (Much like she does in her cookbook.) She’s a friend I can laugh myself silly with and cry with in the same meal.
She’s a person who challenges me to try things like the #30screenlessnights project. And every time I’m in her kitchen I learn something new. I mean, it takes a very special friend to come up with a recipe like this Avocado Toast Salad.
Not everyone would be willing to fall down the most millennial rabbit hole ever by combining the great loves of our generation into one perfect bowl. But Lily? She’ll turn on some Beyonce, and have a brainstorming session. She’ll pitch an idea for a facetime recipe video. (Did you watch it already? Watch it again. It keeps getting better.)
The best ideas come from the best friendships, and let me tell you… this Avocado Toast Salad is A GREAT IDEA. So grab your bestie, get in your kitchen, blare some Beyonce, and get to salad making. (Bonus points if you wear millennial pink!) This is a salad to bring together our whole generation.
This is a salad to eat while facetiming your friend who lives far away.
This is a salad to stress eat while thinking about your student loans.
This is a salad to eat while watering your cactus.
This is a salad to eat before a protest.
This is a salad for my friend Lily.
This is a salad for the millennials.