Avocado, Beet, and Orange Salad

This hearty fall salad is full of flavor and studded with crispy homemade croutons.

  • Yield: Serves 4

Photography: Johnny Miller

Source: Whole Living, October 2011


  • 1 small bunch beets (1 lb), trimmed
  • 2 slices rustic bread, torn into 1-inch pieces (2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • 2 navel oranges, peel and pith removed, segmented
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 tablespoon toasted salted sunflower seeds


  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Wrap beets tightly in foil and roast until tender, about 1 hour. Once cool, remove skin and slice.
  2. Meanwhile, toss bread pieces with 2 tablespoons oil, season with salt and pepper, and toast until golden, about 6 minutes.
  3. Whisk vinegar, orange juice, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over beets, avocados, oranges, spinach, and croutons. Season with salt and pepper. Top with sunflower seeds.

Cook's Notes

The secret to crispy croutons is tearing the bread -- the nooks and crannies absorb more olive oil than evenly sliced pieces. (Of course, the real challenge is not devouring the whole batch when they're warm and fresh out of the oven.)