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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Pasta Salad with Avocado & Black Beans in a Goat Cheese Lime Vinaigrette

Last June, I posted this information from the California Avocado Commission about how to select and peel a fresh avocado. Since it's been a while and I do use avocados quite often in the spring/summer months, I thought I'd share these helpful tips with you once again. 

Selecting Fresh Fruit
The best way to tell if a California Avocado is ready for immediate use is to gently squeeze the fruit in the palm of your hand. Ripe, ready-to-eat fruit will be firm yet will yield to gentle pressure. Color alone may not tell the whole story. The Hass avocado will turn dark green or black as it ripens, but other varieties retain their light-green skin even when ripe. If you plan to serve the fruit in a few days, stock up on hard, unripened fruit. Avoid fruit with dark blemishes on the skin or over soft fruit.

Peeling a California Avocado
1. Start with a ripe avocado and cut it lengthwise around the seed. Rotate the halves to separate. 
2. Remove the seed by sliding the tip of a spoon gently underneath and lifting out. The other common seed-extraction method - striking the seed with a knife and twisting - requires some skill and is not recommended.
3. Peel the fruit by placing the cut side down and removing the skin with a knife or your fingers, starting at the small end. Or simply scoop out the avocado meat with a spoon. Be sure to sprinkle all cut surfaces with lemon or lime juice or white vinegar to prevent discoloration.

I had picked up some ripe Hass avocados on my latest shopping trip thinking I would make some guacamole over the weekend but never got around to it. So here I had two avocados, now overly ripe and deep brown in color, and needed to make something with them. I decided to make a salad, always a good choice, and throw in some of those black beans (down to one can now! lol). Now you're asking "Why the goat cheese?". Well, I also had purchased some of that on sale a couple of weeks ago and forgot about it and it was going to expire in a couple of weeks so I threw some of that in the dressing too. It made a delicately light and creamy dressing for this pasta salad and all of the flavors blended nicely for a wonderful salad. 

Pasta Salad with Avocado & Black Beans in a Goat Cheese Lime Vinaigrette
1/2 Box Barilla Piccolini Mini Zucchini & Spinach Wheels Pasta
2 Ripe Hass Avocado, pitted and chopped
1-15oz. Can Black Beans, rinsed
1 Large Plum Tomato, diced
2 Scallions, chopped
Prepared Goat Cheese Lime Vinaigrette

Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and let cool, then add to a large bowl. Add the avocado, beans, tomatoes, scallions and prepared vinaigrette and mix well. Makes 8 cups

Goat Cheese Lime Vinaigrette
1/4 c. Crumbled Goat Cheese
1 tbsp. Fresh Cilantro, chopped
1 Lime, juice only
1/4 c. Distilled White Vinegar
1/4 c. Canola Oil
1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt
1/4 tsp. Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Whisk all ingredients together until they are well combined. 

*1/2 Cup Serving Nutritional Information: Calories 119, Carbs 15g, Fat 4g, Protein 4g
*1 Cup Serving Nutritional Information: Calories 237, Carbs 30g, Fat 9g, Protein 8g


*Calculations based on ingredients entered into MyFitnessPal and may not be 100% accurate.


  1. I love Avocado that looks so fresh and yummy...hope ican make it soon. Thanks for share this recipe.


  2. You're welcome, thanks for stopping by!

  3. Just found your recipe over at Amuse Your Bouche and soooo glad I did! Goat cheese in a vinaigrette!?!? Yes, please! In a pasta salad with avocados and tomato?!? Brilliant! :D Pinning ASAP!

    1. Hi Shelley and thank you so much. It was a real favorite here as well~Enjoy!


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