Avocados are rich in flavour and texture and combine with many different ingredients to make attractive, exciting salads. Avocados contain no cholesterol and are high in fibre, protein, vitamins, minerals and trace elements. This fruit is also an excellent source of monounsaturated fat. These 7 avocado salad recipes are not only incredibly tasty, but healthy as well. Enjoy!
1. Grilled Avocado and Tomato Salad
You will need 10 vine-ripened and quartered tomatoes, 4 avocados (peeled, halved, and pitted), ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil, 2 fresh lemons, 1 red onion (sliced), ¼ cup pine nuts (toasted light brown in the oven), and ¼ pound parmesan cheese.
**** Preheat grill to medium heat. Cover large platter with tomato quarters, set aside. Place avocado halves in a bowl and drizzle with two tablespoons olive oil, juice of one of the lemons, salt and pepper. Place each half, flat side down, on a hot open grill for about 30 to 45 seconds. Cook on the flat side only. When well caramelized, remove and place on top of the plated tomatoes. In another bowl, squeeze the other lemon over the sliced red onion and mix well. Add the remaining olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Place onions in the empty avocado pit holes. Spoon the remaining lemon/olive oil mixture over avocados and onions. Top with your favourite dressing, distributing generously on all sides. Sprinkle pine nuts and grate cheese on top.
2. Avocado Salad with Bacon and Sour Cream
Ingredients are 4 bacon slices (chopped), 2 avocados (peeled, pitted, and cubed), 3 green onions (finely chopped), ½ cup sour cream, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, coarse salt to taste, and red leaf lettuce.
Crisp bacon pieces and gently toss with cubed avocado, chopped green onion, sour cream, fresh lemon juice and coarse salt. Salad is served on individual plates over arranged red leaf lettuce.
3. Cashew Avocado Chicken Salad
You will need 4 cooked, boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (shredded), ⅓ cup prepared ranch salad dressing, 1 – 1½ tablespoons chopped fresh dill, 1 cup cashews, 1 avocado (peeled, pitted and diced), sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste, 12 bacon slices, 6 Swiss cheese slices, and 12 bread slices (toasted).
In a large bowl, mix the cooked chicken, dressing, dill, cashews, and avocado. Season with salt and pepper. Cover, and chill in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown, drain. Spread even amounts of the chicken mixture on 6 slices of toasted bread. Top each with 2 slices bacon and 1 slice Swiss cheese. Top with remaining bread slices to make sandwiches.
Chicken breast is tossed with ranch salad dressing, chopped fresh dill, cashew nuts and diced avocado. Chicken salad is seasoned with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Serve on toasted bread slices topped with bacon and Swiss cheese.
4. Salmon Avocado Salad
Buy 2 (6 ounces each) salmon filets, ¼ cup butter (melted and divided), salt and fresh ground pepper to taste, 4 ounces fresh mushrooms (sliced), 12 grape tomatoes (halved), 2 tablespoons olive oil (divided), 8 ounces leaf lettuce (torn into bite-size pieces), 1 avocado -- peeled, pitted, and cubed, 5 sprigs fresh cilantro (chopped), 1 fresh jalapeno pepper (chopped), 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar, and 1 ounce feta cheese (crumbled).
Preheat the oven broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminium foil. Place the salmon on the foil, and brush with 2 tablespoons melted butter. Season with salt and pepper. Broil 15 minutes, until fish is easily flaked with a fork. Melt the remaining butter in a skillet over medium heat and sauté the mushrooms until tender. Place the tomatoes in a bowl, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. In a large bowl, toss together the salmon, mushrooms, tomatoes, lettuce, avocado, cilantro, and jalapeno. Drizzle with remaining olive oil and the vinegar. Season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with feta cheese to serve.
5. Simple Tuna Salad Recipe
You will need 1 small can tuna in water (drained and flaked), 1 small minced onion, 1 finely chopped rib celery, 1 tbsp light mayonnaise, ½ finely chopped red pepper, ½ sliced cucumber, 4 shredded baby carrots, 1 small peeled and chopped apple, and 4-5 cups salad greens (divided).
Combine tuna, onion, celery, mayonnaise, red pepper and mayo and stir well to combine. Arrange greens on two plates, top with carrot, apple and cucumber slices. Using a rounded scoop or spoon, divide tuna mixture and scoop half on top of each salad. Top with fresh ground pepper and your favourite salad.
6. Pasta with Avocado and Bacon
Ingredients are 1 chopped onion, 1 tsp olive oil, 100g thick bacon cut into 2cm strips, 2 x 400g cans of Italian tomatoes (chopped with juice), 1 small, dried finely chopped hot red pepper, salt to taste, 400g penne (or other short pasta), ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, 2 diced avocados, and juice from one lemon.
Sauté onion in oil until golden (about 10 mins). Stir in bacon, sauté until cooked but not browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in tomato and juice, hot pepper and dash of salt. Simmer, uncovered, until liquid reduces, about 25 minutes. Mix in the cheese, reserve a small amount to garnish. Add 1 diced avocado to the sauce and gently heat through. Gently squeeze the lemon juice over the remaining avocado. Cook pasta in salted, boiling water until just tender, about 8 minutes; drain well. Stir pasta in sauce. Remove from heat and mound on a serving plate. Garnish with remaining diced avocado and a thin sprinkle of finely grated Parmesan cheese. Serve with a fresh green salad.
7. Prawns, Avocado and Noodle Salad
For the dressing, you will need 1 tablespoon each of sweet Thai chilli sauce and lemon juice, 2 tablespoons grated root ginger, 3 tablespoons olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. For the salad, you will need 125 grams rice stick noodles, 2 spring onions, 1 large carrot, 350 grams cooked prawns,and 1 large firm ripe avocado.
To prepare the dressing, whisk the chilli sauce, lemon juice and ginger until well combined. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until thickened. Season to taste. Boil the noodles in plenty of boiling water for about 3 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Drain again. Using scissors, cut into 10cm lengths. Thinly slice the spring onions and julienne the carrot. Halve, pit and peel the avocado. Cut into cubes or slices. Combine the prawns, noodles, vegetables and dressing in a large bowl. Season and serve.
And just quickly here are some ripening and storage tips:
To test ripeness, cradle avocado in the palm of the hand and squeeze gently. Ripe avocados yield slightly to gentle palm pressure. Open hard avocados by storing at room pressure – or place in a bag with a banana or kiwifruit to hasten ripening. Once ripe, avocados can be stored in the refrigerator for several days. Never store unripe avocados in a refrigerator as this damages their delicate flesh.
I hope you give at least one of these beautiful avocado salads a try.
Top Photo Credit: balotto