It's shameful, downright shameful, how many successful recipes I have sitting around and gathering dust in my soon-to-post about folder. I'm practically taking on the behavior of such noted and beloved food bloggers as Orangette and The Smitten Kitchen, who frequently talk about recipes waiting "in the queue"! Let's face it, I'm no high-class food blogger. Clearly, I lack focus when it comes to blogging. I am, however, a burgeoning gardener and huge, die-hard fan of Jamie Oliver, two traits which led to my adoption of this most delicious, beautiful, and HEALTHY salad.
I've always wanted to be better about adding a decent green salad as a side to every meal. I know it's not as complicated, fussy, or tedious as I tend to make such a task, and that if I make it a habit, it won't be a hassle at all. Jamie O. would not be pleased with my reticence, I'm sure. He would probably hand me this recipe and tell me how easy it is. He is most certainly right.
This salad took all of five minutes to throw together. Thankfully, I had a mountain of fresh lettuce available-my garden is actually borderline out of control (the photo below was taken only a few weeks after planting)-as well as plentiful avocados (I'll really try to keep the bragging about my especially fruitful tree to a minimum). I had the rest of the ingredients on hand, but I'm sure it wouldn't have been the end of the world if there were no cucumber or green onions. As it is, this salad is unbelievably good, and undeniably simple. All that fine chopping means each precious bit of green is perfectly doused in the tangy homemade dressing, which is made even better (as are most things) with the creamy deliciousness of the avocado. In fact, I may have added an additional avocado to my salad. And possibly eaten most of a salad that was meant for four people. Perhaps that wasn't Jamie's intention...
1/2 a cucumber
a handful of fresh basil leaves
2 small, just ripe avocados
1 butterhead lettuce
Large handful sprouted cress or alfalfa
optional: 2 ounces Cheddar cheese
extra virgin olive oil
red wine vinegar
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Get yourself a big chopping board and a large sharp knife. It's best to start by chopping the harder, crunchier veggies first, so trim and chop your scallions and slice your cucumber. Slice your basil. Bring it all into the center of the board, and continue chopping and mixing together. Halve your avocados around the big pit. Carefully remove the pit and peel the skin off. Add the avocado flesh, lettuce leaves, and cress or alfalfa to the board. Crumble over the cheese, if using, and continue chopping. When everything is well chopped, you'll have a big mound of salad on the board. Make a well in the middle and drizzle in 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar. Add a teaspoon of English mustard and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Mix up so everything gets well coated and serve on the board or in a bowl.