Avocado Salad with Ginger and Peanuts

MAKES: 4 servings

TIME: 2 hours, largely unattended

Avocado is so rich and creamy that all it needs is a little acidity to become a “salad.” This sweet and sour dressing, almost a ginger syrup, really does the trick. Serve this salad with Eggless Vegetable Tempura or Crisp-Fried Noodle Cake for a bright, refreshing counterpoint. And for a more substantial salad, eliminate the cilantro sprigs and put the avocados on a bed of watercress before dressing.

1/3 cup rice vinegar

1/4 cup sugar

Salt

2 tablespoons minced or grated peeled fresh ginger

Several sprigs cilantro for garnish

2 medium or large avocados, pitted, peeled, and sliced

1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts, salted or unsalted for garnish

01 Put the vinegar, sugar, a pinch of salt, and 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Add the ginger and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, as the dressing bubbles gently and thickens, about 5 minutes. When it gets noticeably syrupy, remove from the heat, cool, cover tightly or put in a jar, and refrigerate until very cold, at least an hour or so. (The dressing may be made ahead to this point and used up to 2 days later.)

02 To serve, put a few cilantro sprigs on individual salad plates or a small platter. Overlap the avocado slices on top. Drizzle each with the ginger dressing and garnish with a sprinkle of peanuts and salt if you like.