Road Trip

A Brit's spin on a Southwest salad
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After energizing America's TV audience with Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, the British chef remains focused on the USA. In his new cookbook, Jamie's America, Oliver highlights discoveries from a cross-country culinary road trip and captures the nation's melting-pot-style cooking with recipes like Cornish cowboy pasties and Southern sausage stew. Oliver's Arizona-inspired Mad Dog Salad offers an unusual (but genius) way to prepare avocados: He roasts them to enhance the fruit's rich, buttery flavor, then pairs them with melted cheese, crunchy tortilla chips, nuts and chiles for incredible texture in every bite.

Mad Dog Salad

Recipe adapted from Jamie's America (Hyperion)

Yield: 4 servings


3 small, ripe avocados--halved, pitted and peeled

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon cumin seeds

4 cups tortilla chips

¾ cup coarsely grated cheddar cheese

3 tablespoons pine nuts

3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

4 cups mixed salad greens

1 cup watercress

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 Scotch bonnets or other hot chiles, seeded and thinly sliced


1. Preheat the oven to 400˚. Arrange the avocados on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season generously with the salt, pepper and cumin seeds and toss until nicely coated. Roast until the avocados are lightly browned, about 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, on a large baking sheet, arrange the tortilla chips in a single layer and scatter the cheddar, pine nuts and pumpkin seeds over the top. About 4 minutes before the avocados are done roasting, place the large baking sheet in the oven to melt the cheese and toast the nuts and seeds.

3. In a large bowl, toss the salad greens and watercress with the lemon juice and remaining 6 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Remove the avocados and tortilla chips from the oven. Divide the chips among 4 plates. Slice the avocados and divide them among the plates. Scatter the greens over the top and garnish with the chiles. Serve immediately.

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