Rustic salad can be a main dish or accompaniment

Avocado, Mozarella, and Beef Tomatoe Tricolour from Restaurant 27 in Southsea.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (131809-1)
Avocado, Mozarella, and Beef Tomatoe Tricolour from Restaurant 27 in Southsea.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (131809-1)
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This week we are going to make a classic salad that can be made as a main dish, or as an accompaniment.

The tricolour salad takes its name from the three colours of the Italian flag – the green of the avocado, red of the tomato and the white of the mozzarella.

It’s a homage to the classic rustic Italian style and is widely used today in Italian restaurants across the world.

The key to making this salad is to use ripe ingredients that will make the salad taste fresh and delicious. It will also be a healthier option than a generic dressing. It’s important to use amazing ingredients that can speak for themselves.

It’s a hard job sometimes looking for the perfectly ripe avocado to use, but there are a few tips to help you on your way.

Look for an avocado where the skin is starting to go dark and that when touched will have a bit of give to it. This is so when you cut it in half and take the stone out the skin , it should peel right off.

Or alternatively you can buy the avocados in advance and leave them in a dark place to let them ripen.

Tomatoes can also be tricky, but as long as they have good resistance when squeezed you can’t go wrong.

I find the best tomatoes are on the vine due to the flavour content being far greater.

The day before you want the salad, make it and leave it out at room temperature as there is nothing worse than a cold tomato.

Kevin Bingham is the chef patron of Restaurant 27 in Southsea. Call (023) 9287 6272.