Plum Avocado Summer Salad

August 4, 2010

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: This is a creation for a nice quick summer salad! I discovered recently that I love avocado - perhaps I had only had guacamole (not a texture for me) so I missed out a lot of years without avocado. Recently I was on a plum craze and I made this combo which was delicious. Peeling plums can try your patience, but it's worth the sweet fleshy goodness without the bitter skins. - Lena S.Lena S.

Food52 Review: A study in contrasts, this salad blew us away with its unexpected combination of flavors and textures. It's as if the marriage of tart-sweet plum and buttery avocado was always meant to be -- and the fragrant cilantro garlic dressing brings just the right amount of heat to the party, in the form of a dried chili. Don't skimp on the lemon or the salt, as both are crucial for balance. We think dicing the plums and avocados a little finer and using this to top a piece of fish would be another great use for Lena S.'s great dish! - A&MThe Editors

Serves: 2


  • 2 medium ripe Avocados
  • 5 medium sized ripe black plums
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • several pinches sea salt (I'm on a pink himalayan salt phase myself)
  • 1 medium lemon
  • 3 splashes olive oil
  • 1 dried red chili pepper
In This Recipe


  1. Peel the black plums and cut into cubes (worth the task of peeling!).
  2. Peel the avocado and cut into cubes.
  3. Gently place the black plum and avocado chunks into a dish -- be careful not to mix too much, otherwise the avocado mushes all over. Squeeze with lemon and sprinkle in a couple pinches of sea salt. Do not mix.
  4. In a mortar and pestle, smash up the garlic clove with a little salt. Add the red chili pepper and continue crushing (should still be in big messy chunks). Add the cilantro and continue to mash until the ingredients are combined. Drizzle in the olive oil (1/4 to 1/2 cup) to make the dressing, mashing well.
  5. Drizzle the dressing with a spoon over the plums and avocado. Salt to taste.
  6. Let the salad sit for 5 to 10 minutes to soak in a bit and then enjoy.

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Reviews (64) Questions (2)

64 Reviews

Sharon August 6, 2017
I made this today and it is very flavorful! Plums and avocados are two of my favorites and I'll put cilantro on just about anything so this was a perfect recipe for me to try. I'll be making it again. Thank you for sharing.
malw June 21, 2016
Wonderful Can't wait to tell people about this dish!
Amanda D. July 19, 2015
I made this today for a women's brunch. It met with rave reviews despite initial skepticism. Thanks so much for sharing!
wietje August 16, 2014
Just made it. I used manggo instead. Very nice.
Author Comment
Lena S. August 13, 2014
Thanks for the shout out as recipe of the day!! Made MY day anyways :)
Sophia S. July 8, 2014
can anybody recommend a replacement for cilantro? I'm one of those who can only taste soap :(
drbabs July 8, 2014
My husband, too. I usually use flat leaf parsley in its place.
Alejandralxndr September 17, 2013
Where did you get that mortar and pestle? It's beautiful and I want one!
Sabine G. August 29, 2013
this was a huge hit at my BBQ! Impressive combination. Super delicious.
Marquis July 23, 2013
This is so interesting! Thanks for sharing, I love the combination here .. Very innovative!
TastyAloha July 4, 2013
Surprisingly delicious combination of flavors. I skipped the part with the mortar and pestle and just gently mixed all of the ingredients together in a bowl and it still tasted fantastic.
kumalavula August 29, 2012
i have made this every summer since it appeared and people ask over and over for the recipe. it's a great combination of flavors. i've played around with black plums, pluots and may even try nectarines but i never peel the fruit and it seems perfectly fine. i hope to make this once or twice more before fall settles in.
susan G. March 16, 2012
I've been waiting for months to make this -- it finally came together, and I had it with Panfusine's "handvo" -- it works like a chutney, and was a delightful compliment.
carlinpatty September 11, 2011
Just made this for dinner. Used several different types of plums and served it over a bed of arugula. Wonderful! Agree with others -- doesn't need as much oil, I used less than 1/4 cup.
shortnmorose September 5, 2011
I added blue cheese to this and it was phenomenal. My cheese guy looked at me funny and I was like, trust me. Plums avos and blu di bufala. YUM!
Author Comment
Lena S. September 7, 2011
I will have to give it a try - it does sound promising! <br />
jedverity July 22, 2011
I agree with another commenter about using less oil. With 1/4 cup the olive oil flavor was very strong and there was a pool of it, mixed with juices, at the bottom of the bowl. Otherwise, this was amazing!
Jed July 19, 2011
Brilliant! How long do you think it could keep in the fridge?
bmallorca September 6, 2011
Jed, I made it last week and it kept well for at least two days in the fridge, and then it was gone. We made sure the dressing got all over the avocado, and didn't notice any terrible discoloration. However it was so yummy that no one would have cared!
TheWimpyVegetarian July 11, 2011
This was one of my favorite salads last summer. We had a house party-reunion this weekend and I made this last night as a side dish to some grilled pork tenderloins. Everyone, and I mean everyone, just raved about this salad. They loved how it looked and tasted. Everyone wanted the recipe! Thanks for making me look good!
Author Comment
Lena S. July 13, 2011
Assya April 17, 2011
I must say I wasn't sure how this would turn out, mixing avocados and plums seemed weird.<br />It turned out AMAZING ! I haven't had anyhing that flavourful in a long time, thank you !<br /><br />HOwever, I cut down on the oil, I think 1/4 cup is enough, maybe even too much<br />Thank you again
Author Comment
Lena S. April 24, 2011
Glad you liked it! You can definitely cut down on the oil as you prefer and adjust the lemon and chili to your taste! <br /> <br />
The G. November 4, 2010
It's so good!
jmnookin September 2, 2010
Just made this for lunch. Absolutely delicious. My plums were a mixture of varieties and ripeness, and that produced a rather lovely mix of textures, some bites a bit crunchier, some softer & sweeter. I will be making this again for sure!!
Author Comment
Lena S. September 2, 2010
Great! I have tried it both with more tart firm plums and also with super soft sweet ripened plums and it works both ways! A mix sounds divine. <br />
pauljoseph August 26, 2010
Excellent recipe
Author Comment
Lena S. August 27, 2010
rbnyc August 19, 2010
Nicely done. I made this a couple nights ago as a salsa for swordfish. Didn't bother peeling the plums and diced a jalapeno pepper into the mix instead of the dried chili. I had considered adding some fish sauce but it really did not need it. Result was really excellent - highly recommend it.
Author Comment
Lena S. August 27, 2010
Great - I'm glad - I will try with fresh jalapeno some time.<br />
TheWimpyVegetarian August 19, 2010
I just made this for the second time this week. I just love this recipe. Congrats on creating such a wonderful salad and congrats on being the runner-up this week. I'm sure we're going to see lots of other wonderful recipes from you!
arielleclementine August 18, 2010
i made this tonight and thought it was incredible! thanks so much for sharing the recipe- i'll make it again and again!
gingerroot August 18, 2010
This was delicious - thanks so much for posting this recipe. Plums, cilantro and avocado are all favorites of mine so I will be making this again.
cheese1227 August 18, 2010
I loved this recipe!!
lapadia August 18, 2010
Thanks for sharing your recipe and congrats on being "the" runner-up in this contest!
Sagegreen August 18, 2010
Congratulations on such a wonderful salad so rich in simple contrasts, so refreshing, and at the same time so healthy. Being the "runner up" is a kind of win, in and of itself, too!
Author Comment
Lena S. August 20, 2010
Hi - Thanks - and agreed - even runner up is a wonderful thing!<br />
Minkus August 17, 2010
mmmmm....this was fabulous! We thoroughly enjoyed this salad and were so impressed by the chef's clever combination of flavours! A well thought out and beautiful recipe! Thank you Lena S!!
bistro_gal August 16, 2010
I made this tonight to rave reviews. I think that mashing the garlic with the cilantro and the oil in a pestle is critical, rather than simply chopping them, since mashing them blends the flavors into something that really complements the plums and avocados.Tom is right; this is the reason why this blog is so great; you stumble upon little gems like this recipe which are innovative, simple and delicious. I don't manage to impress my mother in law too often but tonight, with Lena's inspired recipe and very little effort, I did. Thank you, Lena S., you got my vote!
Author Comment
Lena S. August 17, 2010
I'm so happy to hear it was a crowd pleaser!! There is nothing like finally tickling the taste buds of a tough audience member!<br />I agree - mashing seems like an extra step - but it changes everything and smoothes out the flavors.
AMS August 16, 2010
Blatantly biased praise from your cousin! Even though I don't care for cilantro, the pairing of plums and avocado is inspired and visually appealing. Perhaps we could substitute mint and parsley?? I also appreciate the ease of assembly (!). I second The Good Cook's comment - you're gonna win for sure!!!
Author Comment
Lena S. August 16, 2010
Thanks! Mint or parsley - why not? This dish is definitely for those cilantro lovers out there - but I'm sure you could try it out with some other herbs if cilantro isn't your cup of tea.<br />
The G. August 16, 2010
Every time I look at I get hungry!!!
Author Comment
Lena S. August 16, 2010
Hi All - I'm so pleased to have made it to the finals this week! I made this salad for a family reunion last weekend and it was enjoyed by all.<br />
Jball August 15, 2010
Try it the next day as a dip with pita chips. Unbelievable.
Author Comment
Lena S. August 16, 2010
Good tip! I will try it out.
efood August 14, 2010
Made both finalists last night. Both were yummy, but this was really something special. I still don't really understand what exactly it is about this combination that makes it work so beautifully. It was astonishingly delicious.
Author Comment
Lena S. August 16, 2010
I'm glad you enjoyed it!
fiveandspice August 14, 2010
Holy smokes! So creative and delicious-sounding! I simply can't wait to get back home next week and make this. Congratulations!
Author Comment
Lena S. August 16, 2010
The G. August 14, 2010
Your gonna win for sure!!!
TheWimpyVegetarian August 14, 2010
I made this tonight for dinner too. What an absolutely wonderful dish. So easy, such a surprising combination of flavors, so perfect. Like a party on the plate and in the mouth.
thirschfeld August 13, 2010
I made this tonight and it is exactly the reason why I like food52. I had my reservations but I trust Merrill and Amanda's eye for great recipes and they did not fail me. It is absolutely delicious. Lena whatever method you have to your madness it works here.
Author Comment
Lena S. August 16, 2010
Thanks Thanks Thanks! I will try to keep the madness alive in the coming months and if I can manage to document it all - then we are on to something.
J-Dizzle August 13, 2010
Yum! Avocado! Mmmm.....fresh summer plums....mmm - looking forward to trying this recipe on the weekend! :o)
gingerroot August 12, 2010
YUM! Avocado, plum and cilantro are three of my favorites, although I have never put them together. I will now - thanks for the fabulous recipe. Congratulations on being a finalist!
nannydeb August 12, 2010
Congratulations! This sounds very interesting! What about subbing a little fresh jalapeno for the dried chili? I have tons in my garden right now.
cheese1227 August 12, 2010
I've done this with peaches. Plums looks great too!
Rivka August 12, 2010
Fascinating combo -- have all the ingredients in the fridge and hope to try this weekend.
drbabs August 12, 2010
What an interesting combination--congratulations!
Sunchowder August 12, 2010
All the best, this recipe looks amazing!
dymnyno August 12, 2010
Congratulations on being a finalist!
Lizthechef August 12, 2010
Would never have thought to put these flavors together - congratulations on being a finalist!
lastnightsdinner August 12, 2010
Wow, this sounds fabulous!