Avocado and Poblano Chile Salad with Purslane & Queso Fresco

Texas-based chef Robert Del Grande shares recipes for hearty cold-weather fare. Del Grande''s Avocado and Poblano Chile Salad with Purslane & Queso Fresco can be a year-round, Western-style treat.
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Texas-based chef Robert Del Grande shares recipes for hearty cold-weather fare. Del Grande''s Avocado and Poblano Chile Salad with Purslane & Queso Fresco can be a year-round, Western-style treat.

The Grove’s chef de cuisine, Ryan Pera, is by Del Grande’s description, “a farmer’s market nut,” and sources his purslane (a tangy, leafy succulent) from the weekly market across the street from the restaurant. You can substitute arugula, or mesclun mix, if purslane is unavailable.

Serves four

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 poblano chilies
  • 2 ripe but not mushy avocados
  • 4 ounces Queso Fresco or aged, dry goat cheese, cubed
  • 1 bunch young purslane
  • 1 serrano chile, very thinly sliced (optional)
  • 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Pinch of salt and pepper INSTRUCTIONSLightly oil the poblano chilies. Over an open gas flame or under a hot broiler, char the skins of the chilies. Allow to cool. Peel the chilies under cold running water and pat dry. Remove the stems and the seeds. Cut the chilies into small strips.Cut the avocados in half, remove pits, and peel. Cut the avocado halves into thin slices.Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add olive oil, lime juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Very lightly toss. Portion the salad onto dinner plates and serve. Drizzle with a little extra olive oil.

Does a chef who has a Ph.D. in biochemistry find himself naturally drawn to Western cuisine? For Robert Del Grande, no other fare compares.

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