I’ve been reading about the health benefits of avocado, in particular an article that stated this; past studies have shown that eating a lot of avocados is associated with lower blood cholesterol. In one study that involved putting people with slightly elevated levels on a diet rich in avocados for just seven days, researchers saw a 17 percent decrease in cholesterol levels. Since my cholesterol is a little elevated I though I’d start adding more avocados to my diet.
There is also a study that avocado has potential cancer fighting properties. Read more about it here. These are all good reasons to add more of this creamy, buttery vegetable to your diet! I decided to make a salad and I didn’t want it lost in a bunch of leafy greens but instead to be the star of the dish. This salad is bursting with nutrients and flavor. The juicy tomatoes and the crunchy radish give it some textural contrast.
Go ahead and thinly slice the shallots and get them in a bowl of ice water and let them sit for 30 minutes. Dry them in between paper towels. Chop the tomatoes in quarters, slice the radishes and finely chop the basil. Cut the avocado in 3/4 inch pieces.
Whisk vinegar, garlic, mayonnaise, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a nonreactive bowl until the mixture appears milky and no lumps remain. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.
Gently toss the avocados, 1 tablespoons of the dressing, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Transfer the avocados to a serving platter.
Toss the shallot, tomatoes, radishes, and basil with the remaining dressing. Spoon the tomato mixture over the avocados and sprinkle with ricotta salata or feta. Serve immediately.
- 1 small shallot, sliced thin
- 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon mayonnaise
- Salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 avocados, halved, pitted, and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- 6 ounces cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1 1/2 radishes, sliced thin
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 1/2 ounces ricotta salata, shaved thin
- Place shallot in 1 cup of ice water and let stand for 30 minutes. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.
- Whisk the vinegar, garlic, mayonnaise, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a nonreactive bowl until the mixture is well blended and no lumps remain. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in oil. (The dressing should appear well blended, glossy, and without pools of oil on the surface.)
- 3. Gently toss avocados, 1 1/2 tablespoons dressing, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Transfer the avocados to a platter.
- 4. Toss the shallot, tomatoes, radishes, and basil with remaining dressing. Spoon tomato mixture over avocados and sprinkle with ricotta salata. Serve salad immediately.
- You can substitute feta for the ricotta salata.
This salad is so easy to put together but looks so special. There is nothing ordinary about it! I think marinating the red onions and oranges in the vinaigrette really takes this salad to the next level but the candied slivered almonds…they take it over the top! Don’t leave the almonds out! They are so very easy to do, I candied them in minutes. I could just eat them all by themselves!
Go ahead and make the vinaigrette for the salad, you can make this ahead if you like and just keep it in the fridge until you are ready to make the salad.
Peel and slice your navel orange. I have an easy way of peeling them. Cut off each end of the orange and then score your orange with a knife cutting all the way through the outer rind in one-inch intervals and then just peel the sections you scored away, so easy!
Slice your red onion super thin. I used my mandoline to get thin slices. Big bites of red onion can be overwhelming! Put both the orange slices and red onion in the vinaigrette to marinate for 10 minutes. While that’s marinating get your slivered almonds out and mix up the sugar, cayenne and salt. Once the almonds barely start to turn golden toss in the sugar mixture and stir until the almonds are browned and nicely coated with sugar. Arrange your salad mix (I just used a baby greens mix) and top with the oranges, red onions and some of the vinaigrette. Sprinkle with the candied almonds and chives. EAT! 🙂
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- Juice of 1/2 an orange
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 naval orange, peeled, sliced into rounds
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 2 cups mesclun salad greens or baby greens
- Minced fresh chives
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- 1 tsp unsalted butter
- 2 tsp sugar
- Salt and cayenne pepper to taste.
- Whisk together vinegar, honey, Dijon, and orange juice in a small bowl for the vinaigrette. Drizzle in oil, whisking until emulsified. Season with salt and black pepper.
- Marinate orange and onion slices in vinaigrette in a shallow dish (such as a pie plate) for 10 minutes.
- Toast almonds in butter in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. When barely golden, add sugar, salt, and cayenne. Continue cooking, stirring constantly until almonds are browned and coated with sugar. Transfer nuts to a plate to cool.
- To assemble, arrange greens on a platter; top with orange and onion slices, and desired amount of vinaigrette. Sprinkle with chives and candied almonds.