After much feasting last night, plus a huge breakfast made by my amazing boyfriend with rice, beans, eggs, and bacon, a light and simple citrus and avocado salad recipe was definitely destined to be the star of today’s lunch menu. Bright and fresh citrus, of course, with creamy and rich avocado that I could toss with the lovely mache in my garden. Some days are just perfect for healthy salads!
Not looking for anything heavy, I was just thinking about light, fresh, and raw ingredients that I would feel great eating. Okay, I did throw a little cheese and some walnuts in, but I just couldn’t help myself! Gentle mache, soft and ripe avocado, bright rainbow carrots and radish slices, and fresh citrus (I can’t get enough citrus right now! Check out the coconut, citrus, and avocado rice bowl recipe and the citrus carpaccio recipe! I will keep writing about (and eating) citrus until the season passes and I’m not confronted by rows of gorgeous citrus trees with neon-bright orbs of deliciousness every time I go outside. Check out the incredibly easy homemade limoncello recipe and the two-ingredient no-cook preserved lemons, which make an awesome DIY project for a seriously useful pantry staple. Of course, if you’re looking for a healthy dinner recipe, you might want to check out the spicy citrus chicken breast; it’s simple and mouthwateringly yummy!
For the garnish on this citrus and avocado salad recipe, I went with basil seeds, which are available at a number of spice shops, like Whole Spice (they have a spot right in Napa, but they also have a website and blog, and if you’re on their email list, they often offer discounts!), and are also available on Amazon. They are incredibly healthy and, just like chia seeds, will plump up if you soak them in a little liquid. Warm water works well, and they get soft much more quickly than chia seeds. However, for this salad, I left them dry, just because I really like the crunch! However, if you don’t have basil seeds, feel free to substitute chia seeds or even sesame or sunflower seeds! The flavor will be a little different, but it will still be awesome, and those seeds are just packed with nutrition. I really recommend adding a sprinkle. (You can, of course, substitute chia seeds here if you want! Just make sure you find something with a little crunch.)
A wonderful friend hooked us up with walnuts from Fillmore Farms, and if you have access to those, run (don’t walk) out and grab some! Otherwise, any walnut will do just fine. The walnuts from Fillmore Farms are perfect just as they are, but you might want to quickly toast your walnuts (if they aren’t already toasted) on the stove or in the oven. If you want to avoid nuts all together, the juice from the citrus plus a little olive oil, salt, and pepper would be a perfect and simple dressing for this salad. Avoiding dairy? Just leave out the cheese!
Mache is this sweet, gentle, and mild green that barely tastes like it might be good for you. If your store doesn’t have it, this salad would be great with butter lettuce or baby spinach. Really, though, if you have a favorite green, don’t be afraid to substitute it in! If you’re going to have a salad for lunch, it should be a salad you love!
For this citrus and avocado salad recipe, I again sliced all of my vegetables with a mandolin, which is that slicer that frequently makes people nervous, but is actually and amazingly useful kitchen tool. If you aren’t comfortable using it, go ahead and use your vegetable peeler to make paper thin slices. Want them to curl up a little? Keep them in ice water for 20 minutes or so before tossing your salad. Just make sure to get them really dry before adding them to this citrus and avocado salad, or you’ll wind up with a watery lunch.
Looking for some great reasons to add a little more avocado into your diet? I ran across this article recently that lists the 13 health benefits of eating avocados. It’s full of good information and it will give you even more great reasons (besides awesome flavor) to enjoy these creamy and delicious treats!
Feel-Good Fresh and Light Citrus and Avocado Salad Recipe with Walnut Vinaigrette
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 2 Tbs lemon juice
- 1 tsp grapefruit juice (reserved from segmenting fruit)
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 Tbs + 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 Tbs walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
- 1 pinch chili flake, like Espellete or Aleppo
- salt, pepper
- 1 cup mild greens, like mache or butter lettuce
- 2 ea rainbow carrots, thinly sliced (or peeled with a vegetable peeler!)
- 1 ea radish, thinly sliced
- 1/2 avocado, peeled and diced
- 1 ea orange, peeled and segmented
- 1 ea blood orange, peeled and segmented
- 1/2 ea grapefruit, peeled and segmented
- 1 tsp basil seeds
- 1-2 oz soft goat cheese, crumbled
- Heat 1 Tbs olive oil in a sauté pan over low heat. Add the shallots and gently sauté until soft and translucent. Let cool.
- Add the mustard, chili flakes, and lemon juice and mix well.
- Slowly whisk in the olive oil, a little at a time until incorporated.
- Add the chopped walnuts, reserving a small amount for garnish, salt and pepper, taste and adjust seasoning.
- Gently toss all of the ingredients except the seeds and walnuts with a pinch of salt and pepper. Taste, adjust seasoning, and garnish with seeds and reserved walnuts. Enjoy!
Looking for more healthy salads? You might like the charred corn with jalapeños and red onion, and the whole roasted beets with arugula and herbs. You might also really like these vegetarian raw rainbow nori sushi rolls!
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