Tomato, Avocado, Corn and Basil Salad With Lemon-Balsamic Vinaigrette

When Mark and I planted our very first veggie and herb garden last month, I freaked. After years with what I’ve called a “black thumb” as far as gardening was concerned, I was pretty convinced this one was going to turn out to be a dud! For longer than I care to admit, every flower, seed, and stem in my path wilted pitifully or crumbled into sickly sadness in its pot. So traumatizing, right?!

Even though I wanted homegrown, fresh vegetables and herbs so badly (and to stop paying $3-4 per bunch of basil at the grocery store), there was some major convincing on his part to get me thinking it was a good idea and wouldn’t fail. So, off we went for the supplies! It took him a few sweaty hours in the summer sun to build the garden, me about half an hour to paint, and a matter of minutes to sink our gorgeous green plants into the earth. Then, it was just all a matter of waiting.

Let’s just say I wasn’t my typically optimistic self about this one… but I should have been!

Here’s what we have today, versus the same day we planted the beginning of our garden in the ground. It’s amazing to watch this big, bushy mass of greenness continue to grow, and I’m so excited for when we can finally pluck fresh tomatoes, jalapenos and bell peppers from our backyard!

We should have a handful of veggies by July, but I’m more than happy with all the basil I’m getting! Its our favorite herb in this house, and serves as a great canvas for all kinds of delicious dishes. I especially love using it in pesto (here’s a great Spinach-Basil Pesto), sprinkled on pizzas, and stacked in a caprese salad with fried eggplant.

In this salad, though, it’s simply torn into small pieces and tossed into a fresh, summery salad. To me, the basil’s always the star but fresh corn, avocado, tomatoes, and chunks of creamy mozzarella fight for first place!

For a low-carb, high-protein meal, toss slices of grilled chicken, fish or steak on top! This fresh, crunchy salad has hints of sweetness from the corn and saltiness from the cheese that you’ll love. The avocado makes it melt-in-your-mouth good, and drizzled with a fresh and easy lemon-balsamic vinaigrette, it’s just the best a salad can get!

Make this colorful, nutritious salad for a weeknight meal or to impress summer dinner party guests with minimal fuss and big flavor. A side of garlic bread and a glass of wine would make this the perfect al fresco meal!

Once we have some new produce from our garden, you can bet I’ll be sharing more inspired dishes from it. I’m just so glad it worked out well and is continuing to flourish. And, remember, if you’re planting your own, stay optimistic and water, water, water!

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Tomato, Avocado, Corn and Basil Salad With Lemon-Balsamic Vinaigrette

Yield: Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

For Salad:

3 cups spring mix salad

1 cup chopped tomatoes or cherry/grape tomatoes

1 large avocado, chopped into bite-sized chunks

1/2 cup corn kernels (I recommend fresh, not frozen)

8 oz. (about 1 cup) fresh mozzarella, cut into bite-sized chunks

1/2 cup fresh basil

For Vinaigrette:

Juice from 1 lemon

2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients for salad. Toss to evenly distribute.

In a small bowl, combine lemon juice and balsamic vinegar. While constantly whisking, add olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour vinaigrette over salad before serving, give it a gentle toss, and place on serving plates.

Enjoy!

Add grilled chicken, steak or fish to add a bit of protein and make it a full meal!

      

38 Responses to “Tomato, Avocado, Corn and Basil Salad With Lemon-Balsamic Vinaigrette”

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    1
    Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen — June 5, 2013 @ 12:32 am

    Yay for the flourishing veggie garden, Georgia! Your salad is beautiful and full of all of my favorite things, right down to the grilled chicken! Gorgeous photography as usual, girl. Loved reading your summer garden story, too!

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    Jennie @themessybakerblog — June 5, 2013 @ 7:21 am

    Your veggie garden looks beautiful. We tried again this year after several attempts. This year must be the year, because my garden is sprouting, too. I love everything about this salad!

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    Tieghan — June 5, 2013 @ 8:16 am

    This is So pretty and your veggie garden is beautiful! I wish I had one….. Jealous!
    Love this salad, it is my perfect summertime salad!

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    Karly — June 5, 2013 @ 9:11 am

    Your garden is gorgeous! I usually start one each year and then slowly let it die. The weeds, man. They get me every time.

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    Jessica@AKitchenAddiction — June 5, 2013 @ 9:28 am

    Love how fresh and colorful this salad is! Perfect summer side to grilling!

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    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — June 5, 2013 @ 9:33 am

    So jealous of your beautiful garden! I live in an apartment, so don’t have the means to grow plants right now (and no balcony for pots, either!). All of your plants have grown so well!

    This salad looks like the perfect summer dish. So refreshing and vibrant!

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    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts — June 5, 2013 @ 10:49 am

    Your garden looks wonderful!! We are being you guys here in CO, but soon mine will be big and I will be getting fresh basil! Love this salad, so fresh for summer!

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    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — June 5, 2013 @ 11:15 am

    Such a vibrant summer salad, perfect for my abundant tomato and basil plants! Love the vinaigrette too :).

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    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — June 5, 2013 @ 11:17 am

    This salad looks absolutely perfect! So colourful!

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    Marie @ Little Kitchie — June 5, 2013 @ 11:18 am

    Awesome job with your garden!! I’m jealous! This salad looks SO refreshing, and has so many things I adore all in one!

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    Angie@Angie's Recipes — June 5, 2013 @ 1:22 pm

    Love your veggie garden, Georgia.
    The salad looks really delicious and summery!

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    Nami | Just One Cookbook — June 5, 2013 @ 1:45 pm

    You have a beautiful vegetable garden! You two must feel great seeing the accomplishment. I always want to grow some Japanese herbs and veggies which are hard to find (or expensive) but we have deer coming to our backyard from the canyon (no I’m not living in rural area haha but happen to live right next to it) and our plants got eaten (we have nothing left!). Keep us posted about your garden! Love your colorful salad!

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    Meagan @ Scarletta Bakes — June 5, 2013 @ 2:22 pm

    Love this salad so much! When the summer heat comes on, I always start craving greens like its my JOB. This recipe just entered my rotation!

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    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com — June 5, 2013 @ 3:47 pm

    Beautiful vegetable garden, Georgia! I need your green thumb to make mine work ;)

    Lovely and colorful salad!! So much yummy flavor :)

  15. #
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    Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl — June 5, 2013 @ 4:04 pm

    This looks amazing. I am loving all of the colors. Plus, everyone knows that avocado makes every salad taste fantastic! ;)

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    steph@stephsbitebybite — June 5, 2013 @ 5:13 pm

    The fresh basil strips on top are what’s calling my name! Basil is so perfect for summer!

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    Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) — June 5, 2013 @ 7:27 pm

    Who ever knew that salad could make me drool!

  18. #
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    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes — June 5, 2013 @ 10:10 pm

    Love the colors in this! Yummy!!

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    Brooke Schweers — June 5, 2013 @ 11:02 pm

    Gorgeous Salad! I started growing my own veggie garden recently! I was so surprised how quickly some things grew but I was even more surprised at how amazing all the fresh produce tasted. It makes such a difference!

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    angela @ another bite please — June 6, 2013 @ 7:33 am

    wow love your garden…that is so cool to see how much it has grown! those bright green colors just love.

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    Jennifer @ Not Your Momma's Cookie — June 6, 2013 @ 7:43 am

    Your garden looks fabulous! I’m not a great gardener either…I can’t seem to keep anything alive…other than our kitties ;) These salad is freakin’ gorgeous!

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    pippa@popovertopippas — June 6, 2013 @ 8:24 am

    This salad looks so refreshing, and your garden is beautiful. I live in New York City, so I can’t grow my own vegetables and fruits, but would love to in the future!

  23. #
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    ashley - baker by nature — June 6, 2013 @ 8:56 am

    What a gorgeous salad! I’m so jealous of your lovely garden!!!

  24. #
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    Pam — June 6, 2013 @ 10:16 am

    Beautiful and delicious. BOOKMARKED!

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    Liz — June 6, 2013 @ 10:44 am

    Oh, boy, I could live off this all summer long! The mozz gives me enough protein…especially when I go back for seconds and thirds! Outstanding salad!

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    Kathy — June 6, 2013 @ 1:16 pm

    Gorgeous salad! I have a horrible black thumb when it comes to gardening. Every year I try and have good intentions but I never can keep it up!

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    sally @ sallys baking addiction — June 6, 2013 @ 3:47 pm

    Georgia! This salad looks amazing. Perfect for summer. I’d love it with some grilled chicken on top. :) And your garden is beautiful! Look how much its grown!

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    Reeni — June 6, 2013 @ 8:06 pm

    Being able to pluck fresh herbs and vegetables from your own backyard is the best! Your salad is stunning! So fresh and inviting.

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    Honey What's Cooking — June 6, 2013 @ 9:40 pm

    OMG… your basil plant is out of control.. I would be going crazy.. making pesto and trying to come up with new recipes. This salad looks soooooo yummy and springy.

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    curlypurplepig — June 6, 2013 @ 11:34 pm

    wow this looks like such a good and refreshing recipe! i love your blog and all your recipes! do you have bloglovin so i can follow you there?

    • Georgia — June 7th, 2013 @ 7:39 am

      No, I don’t. Sorry! :(

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    Ashley's Cooking Adventures — June 6, 2013 @ 11:59 pm

    Hi Georgia! It’s been a while since I’ve commented on your blog but I wanted to let you know you’re still one of my faves. Also funny coincidence – I have a 7 month old niece named Georgia now! :) I guess the old fashioned names are making a comeback since I named my baby girl Hazel.
    Anyway your garden is beautiful and this salad is perfection. Can’t wait to try it! Your recipes are always delicious hits in my house.

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    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — June 8, 2013 @ 1:25 am

    I’m SO SO SO jealous of your garden! And this amazing salad. Okay, it’s time for me to get over my plant-killing fear and get a basil plant!

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    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef — June 11, 2013 @ 2:39 am

    That looks like a perfect meal to invite friends to share and eat outside. I grow herbs but that’s about it.

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    Christine — June 19, 2013 @ 8:56 pm

    This salad was amazing. I added black beans and grilled chicken and both me and my hubby loved it. One thing you might like to know – you mention mozzarella in your post but not in your recipe. I added in some buffalo mozza and it was perfect.

    • Georgia — June 19th, 2013 @ 9:08 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this salad, Christine! I love the idea of adding black beans. Thanks for catching and mentioning the missing mozzarella, too. Fixed now! :)

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    Katlyn — June 23, 2013 @ 10:42 am

    I was wondering if you used cooked corn?

    • Georgia — June 23rd, 2013 @ 10:44 am

      I used fresh. It has much more crunch and sweetness than frozen. I really recommend it! :)

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