Sometimes, it’s the combination of ingredients rather than lots of ingredients than makes a great salad. Case in point, this colorful avocado and radicchio salad. Avocado, radicchio, tender greens (like watercress or others), and cherry tomatoes — that’s it! It’s a simple salad that makes a statement.
This pretty salad brightens almost any kind of meal and can be served year-round. Make sure to see the Notes section of the recipe with a variation — it’s just as tasty with a sesame-ginger dressing as it is with the lemon or lime vinaigrette in the ingredient list.
A bit about radicchio
Radicchio is a small leafy vegetable that’s used like lettuce, and adds a splash of lovely magenta color to salads like this one. A member of the chicory family, it’s especially beloved in Italian cuisine. Slightly (yet pleasantly) bitter, contrasting it with avocado tempers its slight bite.
Like the other chicory vegetables, radicchio is a good source of vitamins A and K.
Another way to enjoy radicchio — grilled: In addition to its use raw in salads, radicchio is sometimes grilled, which mellows it out quite a bit. Just split in half, keeping the stem end intact, and cook on an outdoor grill or grill pan until softened and those cool grill marks form. You can actually cut up the grilled radicchio to use in this or other salads, or just enjoy as a side dish.
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- 1 medium avocado, peeled and diced
- 1 small head radicchio, roughly chopped
- 1 bunch watercress or 2 big handfuls of baby spinach or arugula
- 1 heaping cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
Lime or lemon vinaigrette (or see Notes)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, preferably extra virgin
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons agave or maple syrup
- 1/4 cup pumpkin or sunflower seeds, or 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- Combine the radicchio, greens, tomatoes, and avocado in a serving bowl. Grind in some pepper and toss together.
- Combine the ingredients for the vinaigrette in a small bowl and stir together. Pour over the salad and toss together.
- If you’d like to use any of the optional seeds, add them and stir in. Either way, serve the salad at once or let stand for a few minutes before serving.
Shortcut: Use about 1/3 cup of your favorite bottled vinaigrette; add lime or lemon juice to the salad to taste.
Variation: This salad is also delicious with a sesame-ginger dressing in place of vinaigrette. Use your favorite bottled brand or the homemade Sesame-Ginger Salad Dressing on this site.
See more easy salads & sides.
Photos (top and middle): IriGri/Bigstock