March 22, 2014

Rainbow Chopped Salad with Avocado Basil Dressing

Let's talk about avocado pits. You know that neat little trick they tell you to easily remove them? Just whack it with a knife and they come right out. Pretty cool, right? Except now you're wielding a knife with an avocado pit firmly wedged onto the blade. AH! I think I missed the memo on how to properly dislodge the pit from the knife. I've tried several methods (some probably not that safe) including one that sent the avocado pit flying across the kitchen. Slippery little fellas! Tell me I'm not the only one who struggles with this. I play it safe now and leave the pit in, scooping out the insides and working my way around it. No more flying avocado pits. I swear they started making capes for themselves.

Since we go crazy for the Southwestern Chopped Salad with Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing, I wanted to create another salad that played off that but with different flavors. Instead of cilantro lime, I used lemon basil and brought it together with creamy avocado goodness. You can really use whatever salad vegetables you like - it's extremely versatile. I used these for a "rainbow effect" and maximum color pop because it makes me happy 😊 We also love to add beans for a protein punch. The dressing makes an amazing veggie dip or dressing for other salads too. If you want, you can conveniently make it ahead of time and toss with the salad right before serving. It gets even better as it sits in the fridge after the flavors combine. For us, the amount of dressing below is a great match for the amount of salad.

Vegan, gluten-free

1 large head romaine
1/2 small head red cabbage
8 oz. cherry tomatoes
1 english cucumber
2 carrots
1 yellow bell pepper
Optional: garbanzo beans, black beans, corn, sprouts, fresh herbs, etc.

{For the dressing}
1 avocado
Juice from 1 lemon (more to taste)
3/4 cup lightly packed fresh basil
1-2 cloves garlic
1 tsp. agave/honey
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt

Make the dressing: place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust flavors if necessary. Place in fridge to let flavors mingle while you make the salad.
Chop all vegetables and place in a large bowl. Toss to combine.
Toss with dressing and serve.

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Also check out this list of 12 must-try fresh, colorful salads!


  1. This looks so good! I haven't tried your dressings yet, but I'm excited to do so! Love how colourful this dish is with the veggies you picked! Makes me happy too!... also, I know exactly what you mean about the avocado pits! ... terrible things!

    1. AHA! There's two of us!! :) Glad to hear you're excited to try the dressings - hope you love them! Thanks for the message Sarah!

  2. Looks beautiful, can't wait to try it. Although I am not normally into one use kitchen gadgets, I bought an OXO Good Grips 3-in-1 Avocado Slicer, which splits, pits and slices avocados without any danger to your hands. Only $10 it works great and is well worth it for those of us that use a lot of avocados.

    1. What!! Brilliant! I never knew such a thing existed - definitely looking into that :) Thanks!

  3. I also came here to comment that I also have an avocado slicer/pitter. Mine is only a 2-in-1 though. I got it from Bed Bath and Beyond for $9.99!

    1. Nice!!! Thanks Liz! I guess I'm a little behind on the cool kitchen gadgets! :)

  4. I know what I'm making this weekend. This looks so colorful and healthy - can't wait to try it.

    1. Yay! Hope you love it Geraldine! It's definitely a fun burst of color :)

  5. You need to buy your avocados from a Mexican grocer. They have a continuous supply of really ripe and ready to eat avocados. If your avocado is properly ripe, the pit just slides out without using any implements at all.

    1. Great tip Teresa! Will keep an eye out! :)

  6. Hi again, Kaitlin! I found that if I hit the knife handle (with the pit on the blade) on the edge of my kitchen trash can, it pops off! No muss, no fuss. This is a very late comment (like 2 years) but maybe I can help someone. :)

    1. Nice Kathy! Avocado pits and I get along pretty well now, but definitely trying out your method next time!! ;)