FRESH TOMATO AND AVOCADO SALAD PLATTER WITH VARIATIONS
4 to 6 servings
- 1 crisp head Boston or bibb lettuce, cleaned, dried, core removed, and separated into individual leaves
- 2 firm ripe large tomatoes, cored and cut into thin wedges or thinly sliced
- 2 firm ripe avocados, peeled, seeds removed, thinly sliced, and immediately sprinkled with lemon juice to prevent discoloration
- Extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar as desired
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Crumbled Gorgonzola or Roquefort or Stilton or blue cheese as desired, at room temperature
- 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped parsley or Italian parsley (no stems) for garnish (optional)
Arrange lettuce leaves on a serving platter. Alternately arrange tomato wedges or slices and avocado slices over lettuce leaves. Drizzle desired amount of olive oil and balsamic vinegar over vegetables (do not add too much as too much oil and vinegar will make tomatoes and avocados soggy). Sprinkle vegetables lightly with salt and pepper to taste. Liberally sprinkle crumbled cheese over salad. Garnish platter with chopped fresh parsley or Italian parsley, if desired. Serve immediately.
Variations: Add 1 small red or sweet yellow onion (Vidalia or other sweet variety) or ½ of each, thinly sliced and separated into rings, or 6 to 8 green onions, sliced on-the-diagonal (include some green tops) to the salad platter.
Add thin slices of provolone or Parmesan or Romano cheese to salad platter.
Use red or white wine vinegar or lemon juice in place of balsamic vinegar. Add thinly sliced baby portabella mushrooms to salad platter.
Use slices of fresh mozzarella cheese in place of Gorgonzola or Roquefort or Stilton or blue cheese.
Scatter pitted black/ripe black olives (oil-cured preferred) over salad platter.
Garnish platter with finely snipped fresh basil leaves and sprigs of basil as desired.