Summer goals: eating as much salad as possible. What I love about this time of year is all the new produce at the farmer’s market or grocery store. I grab whatever is at my farmer’s market, but grab whatever is local, fresh, and beautiful in your region. I’ve started with the base of butter lettuce and watercress, added beautiful heirloom paper-thin beets, chunks of yellow tomatoes, julienned pea pods, ripe summer plums, pear tomatoes, Persian cucumbers, pickled red onion, Kalamata olives, shreds of leftover roasted chicken, and slices of avocado. My special trick is sliced red onion, marinated in olive oil, a bit of red wine vinegar, sprinkles of oregano, salt and pepper. I lightly dress the salad with the vinaigrette from the red onion marinade and then finish it off with an avocado citrus vinaigrette. I just love this salad so much and wanted to make two versions – one whole30 and one non-compliant with feta and a homemade date vinaigrette dressing (recipe below).
- Mixed summer lettuces, the best you can find
- Tomatoes of the season
- Kalamata olives
- Persian cucumbers
- Sugar snap peas, julienned
- Heirloom beets (or whatever you can find), sliced wafer thin
- Avocado, cut into wedges
- Plum, or other ripe stone fruit
- Leftover, pulled Roasted Chicken (or sliced flank steak)
Note: What makes this salad so special is using the combination of the two dressing – ½ red onion vinaigrette and ½ creamy avocado citrus dressing – the result is absolutely luscious…and remember, dress lightly, because a salad is not a swimming pool)
Nocrumbsleft Marinated Red Onion Vinaigrette
- 1 small red onion
- 1 Tbsp dried oregano
- 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- ¾ cup olive oil
Creamy Avocado Citrus Dressing
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 orange
- Kosher Salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ ripe avocado
Marinate the red onions by thinly slicing them. Place in a container and pour the olive oil and red wine vinegar over them. Add the dried oregano. Cover and let sit at room temperature to marinate for at least an hour.
Make the Avocado Citrus Vinaigrette. Squeeze the orange and set aside 1/3 cup of the juice. In a blender, blend the olive oil and orange juice. Then add ¼ of a soft, ripe avocado. Blend until mixed well. Add kosher salt and pepper to taste. Put in a jar and stick in the refrigerator.
Slice your fruits and vegetables into beautiful pieces. Arrange your greens on a platter. Then fill the platter with your fruits, vegetables and chicken. This is akin to an art project in kindergarten: setting up the different sections and creating a masterpiece! Have fun! After arranging your salad, place the marinated onions on the platter and lightly drizzle the red onion vinaigrette over the salad. Serve the Creamy Avocado Citrus dressing on the side and guests can dress as they go.
This salad is as good as it looks.
WHOLE30 TIP – to make meal planning easier, I always make extra protein for dinner to make lunch the next day a breeze.