This arugula avocado salad has the brightest lemon vinaigrette. The salad is light, creamy, and just about the loveliest side I can think of for a dinner party, but you can also add some heartiness with beans, chicken, salmon, or shrimp, too!
OK, I admit it; this recipe is simple. It’s light, too, and that whole fluffy-puffy-pile-of-greens state of existence is just generally not for me, because my salads? They rarely weigh less than, oh I don’t know, say, a half-pound cheeseburger? Just a guess.
So this fairly dainty plateful is a far cry from the norm. But I assure you—it’s downright delicious. A side dish, probably. A starter, maybe. But so, so fresh and perfect in its purity.
What makes it special is the combination of a precious few high quality ingredients. Strangely enough, I chose arugula as the base—arugula, the same leafy green that, until yesterday, I had absolutely no love for whatsoever. It was always too peppery, too bitter. Now, paired with creamy cool avocado and the concentrated sweetness of cherry tomatoes, it’s mellowed. Milder. I even welcome its spiciness in contrast to the rich avocado.
To bring all of these flavors together in a balanced, complementary way, I whisked together a garlicky lemon Parmesan vinaigrette—made with a fruity, good quality extra-virgin olive oil. This is the appetizer salad you’ll want to prepare when guests come over for dinner. This is the one you can add grilled chicken, shrimp, steak, chickpeas, or tofu to, for satisfying bulk, and call a complete meal.
A tip: Add a light sprinkling of coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to the tops of your simply dressed salads from now on for a fantastic new dimension of texture and flavor.
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 ounces arugula
- 1 ½ cups cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1 avocado, peeled and pitted
- coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice, garlic, Parmesan, salt, pepper, and olive oil until well combined.
- In a large bowl, combine the arugula and cherry tomatoes. Add the dressing and toss to lightly coat all of the leaves.
- To serve, divide the dressed greens and tomatoes among four serving plates. Slice the avocado and divide the pieces evenly on top of each salad. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt and pepper over the tops if desired.
Nutrition Information & Notes:
Nutrition Information for 1 Serving (1/4th of Entire Recipe): Calories 170, Total Fat 14.4 g, Total Carbohydrate 9.6 g, Dietary Fiber 3.5 g, Sugars 3.1 g, Protein 2.8 g