Avocado and Tomato Salad with Lemon-Thyme Vinaigrette: Summer on a Plate

This dish is a light and refreshing summer salad that is very easy to prepare. A lemon-thyme vinaigrette accentuates the creaminess of the avocado and the sweetness of the tomatoes. A variety of different proteins can be added to turn it from a first course into a main meal. My favorites are canned tuna, lump crabmeat, or a serving of cold poached fish.

The most challenging part of preparing this recipe is balancing the vinaigrette’s acidity. The natural fat content of the avocados and the amount of juice released from the tomatoes can temper the acidity from the lemon juice. The proportions in the vinaigrette recipe provided below should be used as a starting point and then adjusted accordingly. I suggest you first follow the recipe, dress the salad, taste it, and then adjust the lemon juice and olive oil as needed.

The simplicity of this dish reminds me of the old adage; “Sometimes the best things you’ll ever cook require hardly any cooking at all”.

Ingredients –

  • 1 lb cherry tomatoes
  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 1 lemon
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ clove of garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • Black pepper

Cut zest from the lemon into long thin strips with a vegetable peeler and then finely julienne them with a sharp kitchen knife. Set the julienned lemon zest aside for later use (optional).

Squeeze the juice from the lemon into a small mixing bowl.

Smash garlic with the flat side of knife. Sprinkle salt on top and run knife through it until the garlic/salt mixture becomes a smooth paste. Add garlic paste and a few grinds of black pepper to lemon juice.

Whisk in olive oil. Taste periodically to ensure the acidity from the lemon juice is balanced by the olive oil. Add thyme. Continue whisking to combine.

Split avocado in half lengthwise. Remove pit and skin. Cut each half into quarters lengthwise then cross ways into large dice. Add avocados into a medium mixing bowl. Add two tablespoons of vinaigrette, toss gently to coat.

Slice tomatoes in half lengthwise (or into quarters if they are large). Add to bowl with avocados. Add two more tablespoons of vinaigrette. Toss gently to combine.

Place a large spoonful of tomato avocado salad on each plate. Drizzle remaining vinaigrette around the sides. Garnish with lemon zest.

Tomato and Avocado Salad 2

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Categories: Appetizers, Vegetables

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3 Comments on “Avocado and Tomato Salad with Lemon-Thyme Vinaigrette: Summer on a Plate”

  1. August 27, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    That looks delightful! Well done!!
    I eat cherry tomatoes and avocado together often (with all sorts of home-made dressings); I’ve never thought of putting a bit of lemon peel on them, it’s such a great idea!

    • August 27, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

      Thanks UrbanPaleoChef!

      Janine’s grandparents immigrated from Cuba many years ago. She has childhood memories of them always serving avocado and tomato salad as a first course for dinner. I guess she was reminiscing recently because she asked me to make if for her the other day. Her grandparents are long gone and none of their recipes remain. I kind of made this one up from scratch. She seemed to like it although I know it will never replace her grandmother’s recipe.

      Thanks for visiting our blog.

      Chris & janine

      • August 27, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

        My pleasure! Keep putting together meals that look like this, and I’ll keep letting you know that they’re top-notch!

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