23 Apr2009


Manila weather has been unusually fickle during the past couple of weeks, alternating between hot desert-like conditions on some days and tropical downpours on other days. And it’s the middle of April! On very hot summer days, I avoid an even hotter kitchen, so a quick salad paired with a sandwich is an easy lunch alternative. Here is a salad I threw together in less than 5 minutes. Peel two ripe avocados and slice, toss with some nice sweet cherry tomatoes, some mozzarella cheese (bocconcini) and some ripped up basil leaves and toss with some olive oil and vinegar and a touch of salt and pepper. Perfect with a ham sandwich, or with grilled fish or meat dish. And it looked pretty good too. :)



  1. chrisb says:

    MM, your sister recently mentioned in a comment that you’re interested in doing mozzarella trials. I’m eagerly awaiting that one! Freshly made mozzeralla or perhaps even buratta would be heaven.

    Apr 23, 2009 | 2:28 pm


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  3. Marketman says:

    chrisb, she suggested I try it. I don’t think I am up to it in this decade… hahaha. I have fear of concocting some bacteria ridden white stuff. :)

    Apr 23, 2009 | 2:34 pm

  4. chrisb says:

    Haha, it is a little scary making fresh cheese. Reminds me of the time I tried making an all-natural sour dough starter- It turned out so gross I think the dough caught more than just yeast from Manila’s dirty air! I just hope the local producers of mozzarella will develop a better product soon…

    Apr 23, 2009 | 3:23 pm

  5. Joni says:


    Where can we buy the locally made mozzarella? :)

    Apr 23, 2009 | 4:57 pm

  6. chrisb says:

    I used to get them from Rizal Dairy (they had a stall at MarketMarket, I don’t know if they’re still there) and from the Philippine Carabao Center (they had a distributor here in manila, I lost the phone no., sorry). But maybe you’ll be able to find contact numbers in previous MarketManila posts, I remember there were several discussions on mozarella and cottage cheese producers from a couple years’ back…

    Apr 23, 2009 | 5:13 pm

  7. dishesandplaces says:

    the avocado makes this salad brilliant :) i’m a big caprese fan – and yes, would also like to know were to find buffala mozarella here – and this recipe just puts a great twist on things

    Apr 23, 2009 | 6:24 pm

  8. mrs lavendula says:

    im suddenly craving for avocado! are they in season?

    Apr 23, 2009 | 7:15 pm

  9. Connie C says:

    Hi MM,

    This is off topic, and not to throw your interesting blog and writing out of commission, but several posts back you asked for interesting websites to visit, here’s one for you and your readers with an accompanying article from NY Times:

    From texting to googling and now, tweet your recipes, a way to exercise our brains in the kitchen…



    Spinach Spaghetti: boil10oz/300g pasta al dente. Brwn t garlic/4T olvoil; +5c spinach 3m; +pasta/s+p. Toss+T olvoil/3T parmesan; top w parm.

    Garlic Chicken: mix 2lb/kg chickn/20whlclvgarlic/t oregano&rosemry/4T vermouth&olvoil&celery&wine/chop lemon/s+p. Cvr h@350F/177C; uncvr9m+.

    Take 1 Recipe, Mince, Reduce, Serve


    Happy Tweeting!

    Apr 23, 2009 | 8:56 pm

  10. Maria Clara says:

    Like much the end result of the color combination very striking! A sandwich or pasta goes well with the salad.

    Apr 24, 2009 | 5:55 am

  11. Jun b says:

    Drizzle it with a combi of olive oil and malunggay pesto with some finely cut sun dried tomato will put this salad entirely into different dimension and the good thing is that it still stay vegetarian.

    Apr 24, 2009 | 9:43 am

  12. T19 says:

    In that other post, somebody mentioned Hacienda Macaluan as a source for ricotta, half and half, and fresh mozzarella. It’s apparently available via Dizon Farms, Market Market, with telephone number 886-7779. Galileo Enoteca has fresh mozzarella but supply is erratic as it is flown in and easily spoiled.

    Apr 24, 2009 | 1:52 pm

  13. Cecilia says:

    How wonderful to find this post when I’ve been craving avocado earlier today, and wondering of a new way to prepare it. And basil crossed my mind just now. I do like caprese, and even more so with the variation of feta instead of mozzarella … Marketman, is there Persian basil in the Philippines? Or perhaps Thai basil? Would very much appreciate your response … Beautiful photo!

    Apr 24, 2009 | 3:56 pm

  14. Cecilia says:

    I found Thai basil in some of your other posts, so now I’m just curious about Persian basil, although both seem very similar to me, so it probably doesn’t matter if one already exists. Thanks, still!

    Apr 24, 2009 | 4:09 pm

  15. Marketman says:

    Cecilia, there is definitely sweet basil available in fairly large quantities. There is definitely Thai basil in some markets and supermarkets, the green variety more common than the red, here is a previous post from the archives. We used to have a bush of the green Thai basil, which is normally impossible to kill, but I managed to snuff out the life of ours. I have never heard of Persian basil, but a quick google suggests it is very close to Thai basil, so it may be available but I just haven’t come across it.

    Apr 24, 2009 | 6:19 pm

  16. Marketman says:

    T19 et al, Mr. Moo carries a locally made mozzarella, but I didn’t like the look of it… a bit grey and tough looking. I understand that other manufacturers also make it. For the imported stuff, there is mozzarella at Santis, Terry’s and increasingly at S&R. I find the ones at S&R to be reasonably priced and quite good… they are usually from Australia. Whenever I happen by Galileo Enoteca and they have freshly flown in mozzarella, I splurge and get several pieces.

    Apr 24, 2009 | 6:26 pm

  17. Vennis Jean says:

    If you are in Cebu you can get fresh Kesong puti every morning at carbon Market, on the back of BPI where there are also Manangs selling kakanin ecery morning…she sells it for 35.00 per block or 3 blocks for 100.00 pesos.

    Apr 24, 2009 | 9:56 pm

  18. Vennis Jean says:

    forgot to add …anybody can also get kesong puti (2 “brands”)one is vacuum sealed from a dairy cooperative in Balamban and the other one is a pack of 2blocks wrapped in banana leaves then packaged on a stryfoam packet… both are available at tha Ayala center Cebu grocery.

    Apr 24, 2009 | 10:00 pm

  19. corrine says:

    chrisb, try to email Pia Lim – Castillo foodtravel@mac.com for products of Phil Carabao Center. I got the address from joey of 80 breakfasts.

    Apr 25, 2009 | 6:59 am

  20. Cecilia says:

    Thanks, Marketman, for the prompt response. Yes, I have read that previous post which is very informative… Never seen purple basil.

    Apr 25, 2009 | 2:25 pm

  21. iya says:

    wow! very pretty and looks very yummy!

    id be happy to eat that with bruschetta!

    Apr 25, 2009 | 11:51 pm

  22. Chowhound says:

    This avocado salad is screaming summer. It’s very pretty I’m sure it tastes just as good. I bought an avocado for an avocado and mango salsa and now I’ve changed my mind I’ll make Mr. Market Man’s avocado salad instead.

    Apr 26, 2009 | 12:15 am

  23. chrisb says:

    Thanks Corrine! Will save her email address for future reference.

    Apr 26, 2009 | 11:26 pm

  24. Ted says:

    MM, if you want to try making your own mozarella, try this site, you would be surprised how easy it is to make (30minutes). I’ve tried making the kesong puti from the site and it was easy. Just be aware that to make the milk curdle, you would definitely need “rennet”.


    Apr 28, 2009 | 6:53 am

  25. IgmE says:

    i tried this recipe but instead of mozarella i used akram, awali or akwal cheese. i bought a 150 gms. cubed and put it in my avocado and it was heaven. this the cheese they put in a cheese manaish bread you can buy in a lebanese bakery.

    Apr 29, 2009 | 12:22 am


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