Greens with Avocados and Sprouts

This richly flavored salad is a great side dish when you want something fresh but that has some heartiness to it. The avocado brings just the right ‘heft’ to it…and the black olive paste? Well, it’s magic.

Makes 8 servings

Ingredient List: 

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
2-3 tablespoons black olive paste
2 shallots, finely minced
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh basil
pinch sea salt
2 bunches watercress, rinsed well, stems trimmed, cut into bite-sized pieces
Handful alfalfa sprouts
4 ripe avocados

Step By Step Instructions: 

Make the vinaigrette by simply whisking ingredients together, adjusting seasoning to your taste.  It should be strong and slightly salty.  Set aside.

Halve, pit and peel avocado.  Thinly slice them lengthwise, keeping them intact.  Divide watercress among 8 salad plates.  Using a spatula, carefully transfer an avocado half onto each plate, pressing gently to fan the slices.  Top with sprouts.  Spoon dressing over each plate and serve at room temperature or chilled.

Cook’s Tip: If you can’t find olive paste, simply place ¼ cup pitted olives in a food processor with a teaspoon of olive oil and puree into a paste.