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An old sweetheart of mine once gave me one of the most interesting compliment I’ve ever received: “I’d like to see you eat a salad. It’s hard to eat a salad gracefully, but I bet you could do it.”

He’s not wrong. About salad, not about my ability to eat it. Salads are, in general, kind of a messy affair. Especially the ones with those pretty and colorful artisanal lettuces that you don’t want to chop that are juuuuust bigger than one mouthful, meaning you get dressing all over your lips trying to get that forkful of unruly greens into your stomach, messing up your lipstick in the process. And don’t even get me started on frisée.

This is the antithesis to those messy, albeit often lovely, lettuce salads. You can eat the entire thing with a spoon. It’s crisp and cold from the raw corn, the chickpeas bring a lovely nuttiness, and the avocado melds with the lemon and olive oil to form a lovely creamy mouthfeel. I toss mine together in about five minutes flat.

Summer Spoon Salad

Makes 2 servings.

2 ears corn
1 avocado
1 cup cooked or canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
handful parsley
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste


Cut the kernels off the ears of corn. Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit. With a paring knife, gently cut a cross-hatch pattern into each avocado half, not cutting through the skins, then use a spoon to scoop out the avocado flesh from the skins.

Toss the chickpeas, corn kernels, avocado flesh, and parsley in a bowl and gently toss everything together. Squeeze the lemon half over the salad, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss again. Taste for seasoning and add more if needed. Remember, both avocado and chickpeas benefit from judicious salt-and-peppering.

If desired, serve as I did in the hollowed-out avocado skins.


If eating raw corn squicks you out, you can certainly grill it, broil it, char it, or boil it briefly, then let it cool. It won’t be quite as crisp and sweet, though.

Music to cook by: Yankee Bayonet [The Decemberists // The Crane Wife]