It took me a couple of years to acclimate to Nashville summers. No t-shirts (if you sweat as much as I do...), God help us, NO gray, breathable fabrics only, no pants EVER, you get the idea.
This summer, both my husband and I agree that it feels somehow hotter than we remember. Every time we see someone running midday, we are shocked and from the comfort of our own car we tell them to go home!!! (For their own good, of course!)
One night before dinner time, I asked P to research exactly this: 'cold summer vegetable recipes' and 'cold dinners for hot summer days'. We didn't really find much that we weren't already eating, that could be ready super quick. (Sometimes I wait until I absolutely MUST eat within minutes, and that kind of limits things.)
After a trip to the farmers market, I had beets and some beautiful heirloom tomatoes on the counter next to a bowl of fresh herbs I had picked. (p.s. How beautiful are those heirloom tomatoes? Total dirt candy! ) We also had a perfectly ripe avocado in the fridge, which sometimes get forgotten until its too late, so I threw that in there too.
This recipe is so easy that I even hesitated putting it in recipe form. Basically, you slice up some beets, tomatoes, and avocados. Mix in some herbs. Pour olive oil, lemon juice and zest (or just the juice) over salad. Drizzle some balsamic vinaigrette. Sprinkle some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper over it. There you have it. You have a really healthy salad that can be served as a side, or perhaps as a main dish. Perhaps if serving for your main dish, you could add strips of fresh mozzarella, or sprinkle some roasted nuts on top to beef it up.
The combination of crunchy beets, sweet tomatoes, and the mellow taste of avocado work really well together! This was one of those dishes that we were so busy eating we didn't really talk. Which is great because the ingredients in this salad are super healthy! I focused on avocados and beets since I've talked about tomatoes in different recipes several times already!
Healthy Benefits from this delicious cold summer salad:
- Avocados offer more antioxidants than a serving of broccoli, grapes, and red bell peppers
- An average Hass avocado, the most common variety sold in the US, has 6 grams of fiber. That is more than a bowl of oatmeal!
- Beets get their red color from phytonutrients called betalains. A study completed in 2009 found that betalain blocked proliferation of human cancer cells of the pancreas, stomach, lungs, prostrate, and brain by 85 - 100 percent. Read more about the anticancer effects of red beets here. There is a lot of great research out there about the promising health benefits from red beets, click here for another great article!
If you try this recipe, please oh please let me know what you think! Leave me a comment below! Post a photo on Instagram, tag me @corrielanderson, and use #itsallofit so I can see your lovely creation!
Stay cool out there my friends!
Heirloom Tomato Beet Avocado Herb Summer Salad
Recipe Author: Corrie Anderson
Serves: 3 - 4
Recipe Type: Side or Entree
- 2 small beets
- 1 large heirloom tomato
- 1 handful of heirloom cherry tomatoes
- 1 avocado, sliced thinly
- 1/2 cup fresh herbs (Use what you have! I used basil, thyme and oregano)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lemon - juice and zest
- drizzle of balsamic vinegar (about 1 tbls)
- sprinkle of sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- Slice beets, tomatoes, and avocado into sizes similar to the wedges of a clementine. Place vegetables on platter and mix in the herbs.
- Pour olive oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest over the herbs and veggies. You could also mix these ingredients, shake and then pour. Mix to incorporate all ingredients.
- Drizzle balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle sea salt and freshly ground black pepper over the dish. Will keep for about 24 hours. Mine kept for 2 days, but the avocado browned a bit. It was still quite crunchy and delicious!