Simple Mediterranean Avocado salad recipe, tossed in a zingy garlic vinaigrette with a generous pinch of Za’atar! Add decadent grilled halloumi cubes in place of croutons, or leave them off for a vegan option.
If you’ve been cooking the Mediterranean way for a time, you already know how to build a salad-a great one-out of anything: vegetables, fruit, grains, legumes, herbs. And you’ve probably already observed that lettuce isn’t exactly our go-to ingredient. From the all-popular tabouli, to balela, grain bowls, and my latest grilled zucchini salad–no lettuce!
Adding another craveable, no-lettuce salad to the list: simple Mediterranean avocado salad.
Side note. Avocados are not a native Mediterranean ingredient, they were introduced to parts of the Mediterranean as late as the 1980’s. But because of their nutritional value, they have been enthusiastically adopted into Mediterranean cooking and the Mediterranean lifestyle.
Why this avocado salad recipe works?
There isn’t a ton of fuss going on here. We’re talking just-ripe, creamy avocados, combined with tomatoes, cucumbers, and shallots.
I love to change up my basic vinaigrette once in a while. This time, I used Early Harvest Greek extra virgin olive oil, fresh garlic, and a generous pinch of all-natural za’ataar (a special spice blend of Mediterranean wild thyme and sesame seed.)
In place of croutons, I used grilled cubes of halloumi cheese. Halloumi is a bit of an unusual Cypriot cheese made from sheep’s, goat’s, and / or cow’s milks. It’s salty, sturdy, and somewhat rubbery, so it can easily withstand the heat. When grilled correctly, halloumi melts nicely on the inside, while forming a golden crisp surface.
You can omit the halloumi here, but if you want to add a little touch of decadence to your avocado salad, I’d highly recommend it.Print
Simple avocado salad, prepared Mediterranean-style with cucumbers, tomatoes, basil, and other Mediterranean favorites! Tossed in a tasty garlic vinaigrette with a generous pinch of Za’atar!
- 2 large Roma tomato, diced
- 1/2 seedless English cucumber (hot house cucumber), diced
- 1 shallot, sliced
- 2 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced, and tossed in fresh lemon juice to avoid browning
- 1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives, more to your liking
- 3 to 4 oz halloumi cheese, optional, cut into small cubes
- 10-15 basil leaves, gathered together and thinly sliced (chiffonade)
- Early Harvest Greek extra virgin olive oil (only if using halloumi)
- Prepare the vinaigrette. Place vinaigrette ingredients in a mason jar, cover tightly and shake until well-combined. Set aside for now (you’ll want to give the vinaigrette another shake before using).
- In a salad bowl, add all the salad ingredients except the halloumi cheese and basil. Pour the vinaigrette and give the salad a gentle toss. Taste and adjust seasoning, add a sprinkle more of za’tar spice. Add the basil, and give one very quick and gentle toss.
- If adding halloumi cheese. Combine cheese cubes and about 1 to 2 tbsp or so extra virgin olive oil in a small bowl. Toss to coat the cheese with the EVOO. Heat an indoor griddle over medium heat. Add cheese cubes and grill for 2-3 minutes, turning over on all sides, until lightly browned and nice char marks appear (it should be crisp on the outside and nice and melty on the inside).
- Add the grilled Halloumi to the salad and serve immediately.
- Recommended for this recipe: Early Harvest Greek extra virgin olive oil from organically grown and processed Koroneiki olives. And from our all-natural spice collection, Za’atar, an exceptional spice blend with Mediterranean wild thyme and toasted sesame seeds.
- SAVE! Try our Greek extra virgin olive oil bundle and our Ultimate Mediterranean Spice Bundle! Create your own 6-pack or 3-pack from our all-natural and organic spice collections!
Keywords: Simple Mediterranean Salad, salad with avocado, halloumi cheese
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