Avocado, Orange and Cucumber Salad

Cara Cara Orange, Avocado, and Cucumber

 

I don’t remember when I discovered that a dinner salad could be more than iceberg lettuce and bottled dressing, but WHEW- I’m so glad I finally did!  Of course I do have to say that there was a time when iceberg lettuce was the only lettuce you could find at the grocer, thus its past popularity.  But now let’s ponder this question.  Does a dinner salad really have to have lettuce at all? Actually – No.

A dinner salad can be just about anything you want it to be. It can be made with just a few ingredients or a whole host of ingredients, none of which are lettuce. The main thing I enjoy about making a salad is incorporating different textures and flavors, and – in my opinion – the fewer the better. This salad is representative of the type of salad that Bobby and I love to eat. It only has three main ingredients – avocado, orange, and cucumber, and the dressing (if you can call it that) is a little lime juice, some sea salt and a dusting of red chile powder.  It’s a refreshing little salad that makes a great brunch, lunch or side at dinnertime.


Salad with oranges and avocado


Green and Orange Salad

 

Kitchen Notes

The orange – I used Cara Cara orange because they are my favorite orange and I try to eat as many of them as I can this time of year. They are SO good. However, you can use any sweet and tasty orange.  And speaking of oranges, if you missed Anne’s delicious Orange Brown Butter Tart, be sure to check it out. Another fabulous dish for all of the oranges on the market this time of year.

The red chile powder – Use whatever you have in the pantry – cayenne, ancho, NM red chile, chipotle, paprika. You only need a little bit – just enough for a touch of spicy, smokey flavor. Of course you know that I used New Mexico red chile powder, but I’ve also made it with smoked paprika and chipotle powder. All were excellent.

Serving suggestions – We had this salad as a side for my Swiss Chard Leek Quiche, and then again with a spicy pork loin. It went great with both dishes.  I’ve always found that citrus, and of course avocado, make a great side for spicy dishes; therefore, this would be a great salad for enchiladas, chili, or a spicy sandwich.

Similar salads and bites:

Avocado and Cucumber rolls @ DC in Style.

Citrus Salad with Spicy Pepitas

Orange and Cabbage Slaw

 

This Avocado, Orange and Cucumber Salad has been shared with Made w/ Love Mondays  .

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76 Responses to “Avocado, Orange and Cucumber Salad”

  1. Poly Gaity January 25, 2014 at 10:06 am #

    This is great combination color and elements. Thanks for your great Presentation

    • mj January 26, 2014 at 9:56 am #

      Thanks Poly!!! It is a pretty salad isn’t it? :) Tasty, too. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Javelin Warrior January 22, 2014 at 1:01 pm #

    This sounds wonderful, MJ – I love the combination of avocado with lime anytime and the addition of orange with cucumber is very intriguing. And of course, the absence of iceberg lettuce is most appreciated :)

  3. Coombemill January 22, 2014 at 8:19 am #

    Simple pretty and lovely looking, Just how food should be

  4. Esky April 15, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

    OMG! I’m eating this as I’m writing this comment. I was looking for “different” cucumber salad recipes, something other than the usual cucumber-dill or cucumber-tomato-feta deal (which are great, but I figured there had to be more ways to make a cucumber salad… also I no longer eat animal products, so the feta is no longer an option!). This is soooo good… I used red pepper flakes, but will try smoked paprika when I make this again. Thank you :o)

    • mj April 15, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

      Thank you SO much Esky! It’s always great to hear from readers while they are eating my food! :) I’m thrilled that you enjoy this salad and that you let me know. You made my day!

  5. fati's recipes March 29, 2013 at 2:02 am #

    So simple, elegant, yet a delicious combination of flavours and textures :) I love this.

  6. The Wimpy Vegetarian March 21, 2013 at 11:19 pm #

    This is so simple and elegant, MJ. And it has all the flavors I love. Do you have a particular type of cucumber you like to use?

    • mj March 23, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

      Thanks Susan! I usually use English cucumbers. I find them less bitter.

  7. Cajunville March 21, 2013 at 5:45 am #

    Simply delicious!

  8. Rita Bose March 20, 2013 at 8:27 pm #

    Wow!! Such a simple but delicious salad!! So colourful !!
    http://www.rita-bose-cooking.com/

  9. beyondthepeel March 20, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

    How simple and beautiful. I love the presentation and the final touch of chili powder.

  10. Food Jaunts March 20, 2013 at 11:45 am #

    Isn’t it funny how the simple addition of something, like chile powder takes something good to something great? This looks so refreshing and that light sprinkling of chile really takes it over the top.

  11. Nami | Just One Cookbook March 19, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

    If I see this recipe on the Pinterest or somewhere I know it’s yours right away. It’s very simple look (not in bad way, it’s actually very positive way, ok?) and the sprinkle of chili like that make it signature dish of yours. Lime and chilli – very nice kick to the refreshing flavors from the ingredients. I learned a lot from you how to use spice like this. And it’s so easy to make, and it’s always flavor discovery for me. I am going to try this (in fact very curious!).

    • mj March 20, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

      WOW Nami – What a extra sweet comment! I never thought about it, but I guess the sprinkling of chile powder has become somewhat of a signature for me. And of course “simple” – :) With two people working from home and preparing 3 meals a day on most days, “simple” is a necessity. I do have to work when I’m not in the kitchen. But even with simple, you can still mess up a lot of dishes. :) I hope you get to make this salad and that you enjoy it!

  12. Reese@SeasonwithSpice March 19, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

    I make similar salads using avocado, citrus and chili lime dressing whenever we have non-asian foods. Love the simplicity and refreshing flavors. Only if you were my neighbor, MJ! When we work late at night, I could skip making dinner and hop over to your kitchen:)

    • mj March 20, 2013 at 10:51 am #

      Thanks Reese! And you would be welcome in my kitchen any time just as long as you reciprocated with some of your delicious Asian food! :)

  13. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles March 18, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

    I could never get over how cold iceberg lettuce was… it’s like it froze at a different temperature than other greens (or, perhaps that was just my mom’s fridge ;-)).

    I agree, salads are remarkably adaptive and fun to play with. I too sometimes like to focus on just a few key ingredients and relish the homestyle dressings. The orange in this version really brings the salad to life and I can just imagine how well it pairs with the chili/lime combo. Delicious, refreshing and so darn pretty!

    • mj March 20, 2013 at 10:53 am #

      Thanks Kelly! Now that you bring it up, I have noticed that iceberg is colder than other lettuce. I actually bought a head the other day at Whole Foods because I wanted to make the wedge salad with bleu cheese dressing and walnut. It was SO cold compared to other lettuces. Maybe that’s why they call it iceberg. :)

  14. Heather May March 18, 2013 at 6:20 am #

    I can’t wait to try this! It is made with 3 of my favorite things!!! I am hosting a linky part today at http://www.frugalfitfamily.com – please stop by if you can!

    • mj March 18, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

      Thanks Heather! Glad you dropped by. Headed over to check out your linky party.

  15. Raymund March 18, 2013 at 12:58 am #

    Nice and simple combination, love the colours too

  16. Helene Dsouza I Masala Herb March 17, 2013 at 9:38 am #

    Oh so true MJ. a great salad has different textures and a good remarkable dressing that will even impress the man in the house (you know they are difficult with greens). I like avocado with citrus fruits. They compliment each other so well. The avocado so creamy and the orange here so tangy, the perfect pair! Btw nice touche with with chili powder.

    I wish you a wonderful Sunday! =D

    • mj March 18, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

      Thanks Helene! It’s interesting that the man in this house loves salads as much if not more than I do! Sometimes he has to tell me that it’s time for some greens. :) Yes – the chile powder was a nice touch, but then I add it to almost everything, in case you haven’t noticed. :)

  17. Shannon | Just As Delish March 16, 2013 at 10:32 pm #

    I never thought of combining avocado with orange, must try it next time. I was just introduced to Cara-cara orange last week, absolutely love them!

    • mj March 18, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

      Thanks Shannon! I know – once you taste a Cara Cara it’s hard to eat any other type of orange. Costco has them by the huge bags right now, so I’ve been eating them like crazy!

  18. Charles March 16, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

    Bleurgh, iceberg lettuce! It was the bane of my childhood, and yet now I hardly ever eat it because actually it’s way more expensive than other lettuces. When I was a kid it was the cheapest!

    I love orange in salads – my mother used to make a wonderful one with orange, apple, and … er, something else which I forget right now, but it was good. I never tried it with avocado. Looks great MJ – crunch from the cucumber, sweetness from the orange and lovely smooth, creaminess from the ‘cado!

    • mj March 18, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

      Thanks Charles! Well, over here in my part of the woods, iceberg is still “a little” cheaper than other lettuce. However, the markets that I shop at don’t even carry it. You really should try the orange avocado combination. It’s really good!

  19. Viviane Bauquet Farre- Food and Style March 16, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

    MJ, this looks so light and refreshing!

  20. Sissi March 16, 2013 at 7:39 am #

    MJ, you are a genius! Combining these ingredients into a salad is one of the most unusual things I have ever seen. So simple and so extraordinary. It also looks and sounds very appetising. The colours are gorgeous! Thank you for this original salad idea.

    • mj March 18, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

      Thank you so much Sissi!! This was easy to come up with because I wanted a salad and it was all I had to make one with! Lucky me that it turned out SO good! :)

  21. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef March 15, 2013 at 8:47 pm #

    What a great combination of just a few fresh, strong flavors. I love it.

  22. Laura @ Family Spice March 15, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

    I love the simplicity in this. Plus it has my two favorites: avocados and citrus! Just lovely!

  23. Liz March 15, 2013 at 8:08 pm #

    Simple, beautiful and delicious…love this salad, MJ. And I am bummed I forgot to buy avocados at the market today :(

  24. Gourmantine March 15, 2013 at 6:15 pm #

    I love these flavors together and they look so pretty on the plate! I though at first it was sumac on the salad and only after saw it was chili powder, nice to add a bit of kick!

    • mj March 18, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

      Thanks G! Now you have me curious about sumac! I’m really not sure what it is other than a plant and I certainly didn’t know that it could be used as a spice. Definitely will be stopping by the herb store to check it out. Thanks for bringing it to my attention! I love learning about new ingredients.

  25. Kiran @ KiranTarun.com March 15, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

    So refreshing! And I love the chili powder!!

    • mj March 18, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

      Thanks Kiran! I love the chile powder too! :)

  26. Nads March 15, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

    Yesterday I bought some freshly ground extra lean angus at the market for hamburger steaks today. And what would be a better accompaniment than this salad?
    It was perfect and absolutely delicious!! Of course, I didin’t take time to make mine as pretty as yours (although Jim said the presentation was lovely) after working in the yard all morning, but it was very tasty just the same. This will definitely be repeated often. Thank you Sis!

    • mj March 15, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

      Thanks Nads and Jimbo!!!! I’m so glad your made it and even happier that you liked it! Of course I would be diving into the angus steaks. :) Glad to hear that they were complemented by this salad! Hum – I think there are some Ribeyes in the freezer and we have nosedived into grilling season. Have a great weekend Sis!

  27. Vicki Bensinger March 15, 2013 at 9:40 am #

    I love this simple salad. It’s light yet provides full flavor of the veggies and with just the simple spritz of lime juice and spice to enhance the flavors even more. Yum!

  28. wok with ray March 15, 2013 at 8:34 am #

    I love the simplicity of the salad, MJ. The combination and colors of this salad is perfect for the coming spring season. Wish you and Bobby a fun weekend! :)

    • mj March 15, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

      Thanks Ray! I does make a pretty salad doesn’t it? :) Hope you have a great weekend as well!

  29. Karen (Back Road Journal) March 15, 2013 at 7:15 am #

    I love the combination of oranges and avocados…they are a perfect match. Sometimes I use grapefruit as well. Your salad had to go so well with your quiche for a lovely meal.

    • mj March 15, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

      Thanks Karen! This salad with the quiche certainly did make a lovely meal. I guess I’m not as much of a grapefruit fan unless I can find a really sweet one. I love putting grapefruit under the broiler with sugar and cinnamon! :)

  30. Adora's Box March 15, 2013 at 4:19 am #

    Growing up, iceberg lettuce was called lettuce because there was nothing nothing else called that. Now it is so much maligned. I love this healthy salad with none of those fatty dressings. This is what we should eat.

    • mj March 15, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

      Thanks Adora! You’re right – iceberg was just called lettuce! I love the simple dressings and if the salad allows me to get away with a squeeze of lime or lemon or a slight drizzle of olive oil, I’ll do. So much healthier. Have a great weekend!

  31. Nisa Homey March 14, 2013 at 10:21 pm #

    That’s a refreshing salad….with summer at its peak here…I would love to have a bowl of this with a glass of chilled white wine….yum

  32. sally March 14, 2013 at 9:20 pm #

    So pretty and so simple! Cara Cara oranges are one of my favorites too. I need to find some before they go out of season.

  33. Valerie @ From Valerie's Kitchen March 14, 2013 at 9:13 pm #

    This and a nice glass of red wine is all I need.

  34. Debra March 14, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

    What a beautiful salad! We are eating more and more salads for dinner and we are feeling better and better! :)

  35. Tessa March 14, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

    Gorgeous color and lovely bright flavors!

  36. Vicky March 14, 2013 at 6:45 pm #

    Simple yet lovely.! Awesome flavour combinations!

  37. Gomo March 14, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

    I love the simplicity of this dish. And I love love love lime and chili together. Thanks for the inspiration MJ! BTW, I’m going to try making your chorizo. My hubby is totally excited for the occasion. :)

    • mj March 14, 2013 at 9:46 pm #

      Thanks Gomo! Oh I so excited that you’re going to make the chorizo! Please let me know how you like it!

  38. ChgoJohn March 14, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

    As much as I like the flavor combination here, what I really love are the colors, MJ. This time of year, i like the brightness that citrus can bring to a recipe and to its presentation. It sounds cliché but if you’re on your 4th gray-skied day, a slice of orange or some lemon zest really is a bit of sunshine on a plate and a sight for sore eyes.

    • mj March 14, 2013 at 9:45 pm #

      Thanks John! The colors are nice aren’t they? Every dish should be full of such color, but I know how hard that is. Try making mushrooms look pretty. :) I hope you get to make this to brighten up one of your cloudy days.

  39. Ramona March 14, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

    Bright, fresh and creamy… what a fantastic combo of flavors. :)

  40. Giulietta | Alterkitchen March 14, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

    What an interesting salad! Very original combination! :)

  41. Choc Chip Uru March 14, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

    What a beautifully refreshing salad :)

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  42. Zsuzsa March 14, 2013 at 12:11 pm #

    What an amazing salad Peach Lady. I should make it for my husband, he loves avocado. He always has some to snack on. I used to love it too, but now I have a severe avocado allergy. Maybe I ate too many. :D

    • mj March 14, 2013 at 9:43 pm #

      Thanks Zsuzsa! That’s weird about your allergy to avocados. I also had one for years! When I was 17, it got to the point that just one bite of avocado caused severe GI pain. So I quit eating them and would try again about every 5 years. Finally, when I was in my late 40’s, it went away and now I can eat as many avocados that I want. I hope yours goes away some day and soon!

  43. Elena March 14, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

    What a great combination!!! Colors of this salad are incredible!!! By the way, I’m hosting a Link-Up party and would be thrilled if you decided to participate!!!
    http://dcinstyle.com/

    • mj March 14, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

      Thanks Elena! I’ll head over and checkout your party. Thanks for the invite!

  44. Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies March 14, 2013 at 11:42 am #

    I remember when lettuce always meant iceberg! And that was a sad time because man, do I hate iceberg lettuce. :) What a lovely, simple salad!

    • mj March 14, 2013 at 9:37 pm #

      Thanks Kiersten! I can’t say that I hate iceberg, but it’s definitely not my favorite.

  45. So simple, but I can already imagine mix of flavors in my mouth.

  46. Diane Balch March 14, 2013 at 10:40 am #

    All the foods I currently crave.

  47. john@kitchenriffs March 14, 2013 at 10:22 am #

    I remember those iceberg lettuce and bottled salad dressing days! It put me off iceberg for ages, which is too bad, because it does have its uses (terrific crunch). Although IMO one of its uses is not as the primary green in a lettuce salad – it works better as an accent, and is wonderful in all sorts of Asian dishes. But you make a good point that salad need not be lettuce at all! And mine often aren’t. Great combo of flavors here. I’ve paired orange and avocado before, but don’t think I’ve ever added cucumber to the mix – great idea. And good stuff – thanks.

    • mj March 14, 2013 at 9:36 pm #

      Thanks John! Yep – the best thing about iceberg is the crunch. I actually did buy one the other day and made Bobby and I a wedge salad with homemade bleu cheese dressing and walnuts. It was pretty darn good. We usually don’t add lettuce to a salad because a head of lettuce usually doesn’t get eaten here until it goes bad – thus lettuceless salads.

  48. Tina (PinayInTexas) March 14, 2013 at 9:46 am #

    MJ, this is such a lovely and simple way to showcase a very wonderful flavor combination! The citrus acidity against the creamy avocado is simply awesome!

    • mj March 14, 2013 at 9:31 pm #

      Thanks Tina! I agree – citrus and avocado is such a great combination.

  49. Angie@Angie's Recipes March 14, 2013 at 9:25 am #

    Simplicity at its finest and best! Would be great with some blood oranges too.

    • mj March 14, 2013 at 9:30 pm #

      Thanks Angie! I agree – blood oranges would be great with this!

  50. CJ at Food Stories March 14, 2013 at 9:15 am #

    I remember when I realized that a salad could be anything you wanted ~ After bariatric surgery, I just can’t eat large quantities so lettuce kind of goes out the window ~ A gorgeous salad just like yours here is just what the doctor (or surgeon) ordered :-)

    • mj March 14, 2013 at 9:30 pm #

      Thank CJ! I’m so glad that it is something you can eat and it also fits your vegan diet.

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