Watercress and Avocado Bruschetta from the AICR Test Kitchen


As one of the world's foremost cancer research institutes, the American Institute for Cancer Research leads the way in making evidence-based recommendations that promote lifestyle choices among the public that can prevent the development of some cancers. To this end, every other week their test kitchen delivers a new and delicious recipe.

This week: Watercress & Avocado Bruschetta

Bruschetta starts with good, wholesome multi-grain or whole-wheat bread, sliced thinly and toasted. A buttery avocado mixture of garlic and lemon or lime juice, which retains avocado’s bright green color and gives a hint of citrus, anchors bruschetta’s essential ingredient – fresh tomato. A crown of watercress makes this bruschetta regal, either as an elegant appetizer, a light meal or refreshing breakfast.

When buying avocadoes, squeeze gently to determine ripeness. They give slightly when ripe. More firm avocados will ripen in 2 to 3 days. To peel an avocado, cut it in half lengthwise, pop the seed out and cut each half in half again lengthwise. Peel back the skin off each quarter like a banana. Avocados have satiating monounsaturated fat that helps the absorption of cancer-protective carotenoids in it and in other foods. That’s why it’s good to include avocado in salads, and bruschetta!

Watercress is a dark leafy green that grows in water and is typically used as garnish. Today watercress is gaining in popularity for its refreshing peppery taste and the fact that it is part of the cancer-protective cruciferous vegetable family. It’s packed with a variety of nutrients such as vitamins K, C and A, isothiocyanates, beta-carotene and lutein. The small, round, scalloped leaves are beautiful on bruschetta. Be sure to use watercress soon after purchase. Soak and rinse it very well before eating.

Treat family, friends and yourself like royalty with to this fancy finger food.

Watercress & Avocado Bruschetta

  • 8 thin slices multigrain bread from 9-inch boule
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 avocados
  • 4 medium cloves of garlic, minced
  • Juice of 1/2 medium lime or lemon (1-2 Tbsp.); other half for garnish
  • 2 medium to large tomatoes, cut each into 8 slices
  • 2 cups fresh watercress, pinched into bite size sprigs, or leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Toast bread to light golden brown.

Lay out toasted slices assembly style.

Drizzle oil evenly on bread.

In small bowl, mash avocado and mix in garlic and lime juice. Spread evenly on bread.

Arrange two tomato slices on each slice of bread.

Evenly arrange watercress over tomato slices.

Season bruschetta with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Arrange bruschetta on serving platter or plates.

Cut remaining lime or lemon half into half-wedges and arrange on plate. Bruschetta may be served as whole slices or cut in half.

Makes 8 slices or 16 mini-slices.

Per serving: 190 calories, 13 g total fat (2 g saturated fat), 17 g carbohydrate, 4 g protein, 5 g dietary fiber, 155 mg sodium.

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