Oh my gosh, if you have any taste for bitter foods, you must try this Cucumber Avocado & Radicchio Salad. Yes, radicchio is incredibly bitter on its own. However, that very bitterness paired with silky avocado, cucumber, bright lemon, and fresh herbs becomes a mouth-watering miracle.
I put together this recipe because lately, we have had stunning radicchio available at the farmer's market. The colors and design of the green and purple striped heads are utterly compelling.
I usually like to add radicchio to salads sparingly. But this time, I wanted to use the handsome leaves lavishly. They were just too pretty to hold back on.
I wish I could have gotten a few more whole leaves in the photo for this post. You see, I don't feel the image does full justice to their brilliant rainbow of colors. Perhaps it's just as well though. We can't count on finding visually spectacular radicchio every day.
So, don't let that stop you from trying this amazing salad. As long as your produce is fresh, I am sure you will have just as tasty a result.
What does make a difference is how the leaves are cut. Perhaps you can see both shredded and whole leaves in the picture? Then there are little boats cupping the cucumber and avocado filling. When you pick them up to eat in hand and enjoy the rest of the salad with a fork, you have a textural delight.
Something about the rich, creamy avocado dressed in tangy lemon juice as well as the sweet, crisp cucumber literally makes each bite of the otherwise bitter salad juicy heaven. Maybe the fresh slivered mint, basil, and crunchy coarse-grained salt don't hurt either.
It goes without saying that this radicchio salad is a slimming, healthy dish. Heart-healthy fats and clean vegetables full of quality nutrition make for another guilt-free indulgence. Isn't it fantastic when food tastes sublime and nourishes every cell of the body at the same time?
More side dish recipes
Cucumber Avocado and Radicchio Salad
- 2 TB lemon juice
- 4 oz. avocado, 1 cup diced
- 1 cup diced cucumber
- 2 TB thinly sliced red onion
- 2 TB sliced fresh mint
- 1 TB sliced lemon basil or Genovese basil
- 2 TB cold-pressed flax seed or olive oil
- ¼ tsp. coarse sea salt or Kosher salt, plus more for finishing
- 12 grates fresh black pepper
- 1 small head of radicchio
- Squeeze lemon juice into a small bowl.
- Dice avocado and place in a medium sized bowl. Pour half the lemon juice over the avocado and toss. This will keep the avocado from turning brown.
- Dice cucumber. Slice onion, basil and mint. Mix gently with avocado.
- Stir cold-pressed flax seed oil, coarse salt and fresh pepper into remaining lemon juice. Pour half the dressing over avocado mixture.
- Separate leaves of radicchio. Lay one large leaf on each serving plate. Fill 6 of the smallest whole leaves with avocado mixture and divide between plates.
- Slice remaining radicchio into very fine shreds and toss with the last of the dressing. Add in small piles to arranged salads.
- Sprinkle composed salads with coarse salt and finish with a couple small whole basil leaves.