This salad is wonderful because it celebrates some of our favorite flavors of summer; Strawberries, blueberries, avocados and fresh greens… but then add the crunchy goodness of toasted almonds, plus the bright tangy sweetness of the three ingredient dressing, and you’ve got a stupendous salad loaded with knock-out flavors and textures. Oh, and BTW- it’s super simple, which is always a great thing!
This is what you’ll need: Butter or Bibb lettuce, blueberries, strawberries, avocado, slivered almonds, seasoned rice wine vinegar, olive oil, freshly ground black pepper and salt. You also have the option of adding a bit of chopped mint, which I highly recommend!
1) First, toss your slivered almonds into a small, dry frying pan and begin the toasting process over medium/high heat. Shimmy and stir those almonds around about every 30 seconds or so in order to toast each side. Keep a close eye on them, though, because they toast up pretty quick! Approximately five minutes.
The amazing aroma of toasted nuts will let you know when they’re just about done. Plus, they’ll start to turn a nice golden brown color.
Remove immediately from the hot pan, otherwise those almonds will just keep on cookin’. I usually poor them onto a paper towel to cool.
2) Next, pull all of those gorgeous Bibb lettuce leaves free from the head and give them a good rinse. Pat them dry between two long rows of paper towels.
Boy, what would I do without paper towels?
3) Once they’re mostly dry, tear or chop the leaves horizontally to create 1 1/2 inch wide strips (give or take). Place all of that purdy green stuff into one big bowl. FYI – This bowl will not be the serving vessel, therefore, feel free to use which ever mediocre-looking mixing bowl you have lying around!
4) The next step is creating the dressing. In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, seasoned rice wine vinegar and about 3 – 5 grinds of freshly ground black pepper. Give that dressing a quick stir with a fork.
5) Poor that dressing over your pile of lettuce. If you’re choosing to add finely chopped mint, now’s the time to sprinkle that in, too… (Do it! Do it! It adds that little something extra special.)
6) Then, give it all a good toss.
7) Use your tossing utensils to divide the salad into four small serving bowls, allowing any excess dressing to drip back into the mixing bowl before transferring over.
Side Note: I personally like serving salads in individual portions rather than have one big bowl for everyone to dish from, because A – It makes people feel special when they get their own little perfectly assembled salad, B – From a health standpoint, it encourages others to eat more salad than they probably would have otherwise and C – You can customize salads for those who have food allergies or aversions. But feel free to keep it all in one big bowl, if you so desire! I won’t judge.
8) It’s then time to start adding all of the fruit and nut goodness. I started with blueberries. Looks like I went with about 9 – 12 blueberries per bowl, but no need to count them out – “eye balling” is perfectly acceptable!
Next, I added the chopped strawberries.
Then the chopped avocado. You can do either 1/4 or 1/8 of an avocado per bowl. Just depends on if you’re “avocado people.”
Lastly, grab those toasted almonds that have been patiently standing by and divide them up between the four bowls. It should come out to about 1 tablespoon’s worth per bowl. The last thing you want to add is a light sprinkling of salt to the top of each salad. (I personally love the salt that you can grind in a grinder.) This will really help the ingredients pop, especially the avocado. If you’re a fan of black pepper, add a touch of that to each bowl, too.
9) Bonus step: If you want to make this into a meal, it can easily be down by adding some pre-cooked and chilled quinoa, cannellini beans or any lean protein of your choice.
And there you have it! I hope you love this Super Summer Salad as much as I do.
**If you choose to print this recipe, specifically select to print only pages 1 and 2 of the recipe. Otherwise, you may end up with several blank pages with nothing but my name printed on them. Thanks for being patient as I work out some of the kinks on this new website!**
Makes 4 Individual Salads
Prep Time: 15 minutes Level: Easy
One head of Butter or Bibb Lettuce
A Good Handful of Strawberries
A Small Package of Blueberries
1 Ripe Avocado
1/4 Cup Blanched Slivered Almonds
2 Mint Leaves, Finely Chopped (optional)
2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons of Seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar
Freshly Ground Black Pepper