Santa Fe diversions

On the trail of the rogue avocado

Orange and Avocado Chicken Salad

In the Southwest, it's a rare avocado that doesn't end up in guacamole. But wandering along gallery-lined Canyon Road in Santa Fe, I found the exception. Just as my appetite for art was squelched by weary feet and a grumbling stomach, fate brought me face-to-face with the menu posted outside the Apple Hat Bistro's relaxed dining terrace. A promise of simple chicken salad with avocados and oranges was enough to divert me from cultural pursuits. What chef Lester Cisneros delivered was a refreshing surprise: The chicken was lightly smoked; the avocado chunked, not mashed, and flavored with dill; and the whole dressed with, in Cisneros's words, an "orange wash." Simple, satisfying, and easily duplicated.

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