Creamy, ripe avocado teams up with zingy oranges, salty black olives, and peppery watercress in this flavour-packed salad. A beautiful, tasty side dish.
My Mum was the inventor of this delicious avocado salad. She has been making it for years and years and years. Sometimes it comes on individual plates as a starter, sometimes on one big platter for everyone to share. Always, it is delicious.
Creamy and tangy
Avocado and citrus is a winning combination, whether you use lemons, limes, or oranges as in this salad. The sweet-sharpness of oranges goes beautifully with the creamy, ripe avocado. I have previously made this salad with pink grapefruit too which is also yummy. You can also use a combination of citrus fruits which looks glorious on the plate.
To highlight the flavour of the oranges and avocados, the salad also has olives, to add a salty tang. Peppery watercress holds the whole thing together. If you can’t find it then a mixture of baby spinach and rocket is a good substitute.
I recently made this avocado salad as part of a large summer lunch for friends, and it went down a treat. One of our guests said it was one of the prettiest things she’d ever eaten! I had arranged the orange segments and slices of avocado in circles on top of the watercress, and it did look very decorative, but I’m sure a more ‘free form’ approach would taste just as good!
Dressed for success
The orange-mayonnaise dressing goes well with plenty of other things as well as this avocado salad. We ate the salad with some baked trout fillets, and the dressing was delicious with them, too. I think it would go well with fish generally, and it was also good over some steamed new potatoes.
The recipe made a large platter of salad. Serves 6+ as a side dish.
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Avocado salad with oranges, olives & watercress
- 100 g watercress (3½ oz)
- 2 large oranges
- 1½-2 medium/large avocados
- ¼ red onion
- 3 tbsp small pitted black olives
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- Wash the watercress if necessary, and arrange on a large serving platter.
- Peel the oranges and remove the pith. Working over a bowl to catch the juice, cut between the membranes to release the orange segments. Squeeze any remaining juice from the membrane/pith then discard it. Arrange the orange segments on top of the watercress.
- Halve the avocados lengthwise. Remove the stones and peel. Cut the avocado flesh into slices lengthwise - around 10-12 slices per avocado. Turn the slices in the reserved orange juice (this helps to prevent browning), then arrange with the orange segments on the platter.
- Finely slice the red onion, and layer over the orange and avocado. Scatter over the black olives.
- Whisk the mayonnaise with 2-3 tbsp of the remaining orange juice to give a creamy dressing. Drizzle some over the salad and serve the rest separately.
- Eat immediately or cover and chill for a few hours before serving.
More delicious salads for you to enjoy include blood orange salad with avocado, radish and dill, garden tomato salad with olives, Greek basil and sumac, strawberry, cucumber & spinach salad with nuts and seeds, and quick Asian-style sesame green bean salad.