I did not like tomatoes as a child. My mom grew tomatoes in our garden and I always turned up my nose at them. What a missed opportunity to enjoy something so delicious! As an adult with my own garden, I was excited to grow a big harvest this summer. Unfortunately, both tomato plants died before they produced any fruit! If you’re lucky enough to have a homegrown bounty of fresh tomatoes still warm from the summer sun, I beg you to make this marinated tomato and avocado salad.
In fact, I beg you to make this marinated tomato and avocado salad even if you don’t have a vegetable garden. That is, unless you’ve discovered this recipe in the dead of winter and all you can find are bland greenhouse tomatoes. In that case, bookmark this page and come back in summer when tomatoes have the absolute best flavor. I used pearl tomatoes on the vine for this recipe because they’re the perfect bite size when sliced into quarters. Feel free to use whatever tomatoes you have on hand!
This marinated tomato and avocado salad is a fantastic summer recipe whether you’re barbecuing at home or headed out for a picnic. The tomatoes can chill in the fridge while you prep the rest of your feast, making this a really simple recipe to prepare if you’re in charge of multiple dishes. Dice and add the avocado just before serving for the best results.
While incredibly fresh and delicious on its own, there are many ways you can bulk up this marinated tomato and avocado salad if you need to feed a crowd. Try adding cooked quinoa, couscous, or farro. Or, turn it into a pasta salad by adding cooked and cooled shells or penne. I have big plans to spread this salad on crusty bread for a bruschetta-inspired appetizer.
1 or 2 ripe avocados, diced (depending on your preference and the size of your avocados)
⅓ cup cilantro, chopped
Quarter the pearl tomatoes and place them in a large bowl. Peel the red onion and cut it in half from tip to root. Place the flat part of the onion on your cutting board and carefully slice it into thin half moons. Add the onion to the bowl with the tomatoes.
Combine the chopped garlic, lime juice, olive oil, agave, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl and stir to combine. The marinade should be salty, tangy, and just a tad sweet – adjust the ingredients until balanced.
Pour the marinade over the sliced tomatoes and onion and gently toss to coat. Marinate the tomatoes in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Just before serving, drain any excess liquid from the tomatoes. Tip: if you’re serving this salad with cooked quinoa, couscous, or pasta, reserve the marinade for extra dressing. Transfer the marinated tomatoes and onions to a serving platter and add the diced avocado. Top with chopped cilantro and serve fresh.
I don’t post a lot of my personal life on the internet but I do have some exciting news worth sharing. I got married! After the pandemic disrupted our original wedding plans, my husband and I eloped on March 6, 2021 on a gorgeous mountaintop in Ojai, California. Despite the covid-related circumstances surrounding our wedding, it was a perfect day. This recipe for Beet and Citrus Salad with Mint was inspired by a post-wedding brunch at Little Sama in Ojai.
The Beet and Citrus Salad at Little Sama completely blew me away. Their version had gem lettuce, radish, curried lime dressing, and candied coriander. The flavors were so unique. I highly recommend it if you’re ever in the area! The salad you see here is simpler but still makes a big impact. You’ll notice there aren’t any salad greens here. This Beet and Citrus Salad with Mint serves as a good reminder that salads don’t have to be stuffed with leafy green vegetables.
If you’re not typically one to make or order a beet salad, hear me out. Golden beets are less “earthy” than red beets and they’re also sweeter. Bonus: they won’t stain your cutting board! The beautiful golden color pops against the deep blood orange and pink grapefruit. Mint adds more fresh flavor and an agave-sweetened lime dressing ties everything together. Fresh basil would also be a delicious addition or swap for the mint.
I will admit, this is not a weekday pack-and-go salad. You’ll need to roast the beets and supreme the blood oranges and the grapefruit, which can take some patience. I’m a visual person so I recorded a quick video of how to supreme an orange. Coming soon!
This Beet and Citrus Salad with Mint is an ideal first-course when you want to impress your dinner guests. I imagine enjoying it at an outdoor dining table with a good bottle of wine and great friends. Perhaps near a pool? I can dream! I hope you enjoy this simple salad and have fun plating all of the beautiful shapes and colors.
This Beet and Citrus Salad with Mint serves as a good reminder that salads don’t have to be stuffed with leafy green vegetables.
2 bunches golden beets (6 to 7 medium-sized beets)
4 blood oranges
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon agave
Pinch of salt
1 bunch fresh mint
Lime zest and blood orange zest, for garnish
Preheat your oven to 425F degrees. Wash and trim the beets and wrap each in a square of aluminum foil. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes, until fork tender. Unwrap the beets and allow them to cool while you prep the rest of the salad.
Use a sharp knife to slice off the top and bottom from each blood orange. Then use your knife to carefully cut away the peel, leaving as much fruit in-tact as you can (see video above). Slice the blood orange into ¼-inch rounds and set aside. Repeat this process with the grapefruit.
Next, make the salad dressing. Combine the olive oil, lime juice, agave, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl and whisk together. Adjust the flavors to taste.
Once they’re cool enough to handle, peel the beets and slice them into wedges. Add the beets to a bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of the lime dressing.
Divide the blood orange, grapefruit, and golden beets between four plates and drizzle with remaining dressing. Garnish with fresh mint leaves and lime and blood orange zest. Enjoy fresh.