Avocado, Watercress and Pecan Salad
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 1 clove garlic unpeeled
- 1 chile guajillo stemmed and seeded
- 2 to 3 chiles de arbol stemmed but not seeded
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt or to taste
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 ounces watercress leaves and upper part of stems, coarsely chopped
- 3 ripe avocados halved, pitted, cut into large chunks
- 2 scallions white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
Heat a comal or sauté pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the pecans and toast for a couple minutes, flipping a few times. Remove from the heat. When cool enough to handle, coarsely chop and set aside.
On the same heated comal or pan, toast the garlic clove in its husk for about 8 to 10 minutes, flipping every once in a while until charred and softened. Then, toast the gaujillo and arbol chiles for about one minute per side, until completely toasted but not burnt. Finally, toast the sesame seeds for a minute or two, stirring, until lightly browned.
Break the toasted chiles into pieces, place them into a food processor and pulse until ground. Add the sesame seeds and pulse until finely ground. Add garlic clove, salt, honey, vinegar, lime juice, and olive oil and vegetable oil, and process until smooth. Set aside.
In a salad bowl, place the watercress. Pour in some of the vinaigrette and toss to moisten the leaves. Incorporate the avocados and pecans, drizzle in the rest of the vinaigrette and gently toss. Garnish with the scallions and serve.