creamy avocado vinaigrette

Posted on Feb 21, 2012 in Food

At our Valentine’s Day dinner last week, the chef served us a starter salad that was incredible. A bed of roasted purple potatoes, topped with fresh arugula, shallots, shaved asparagus and toasted almonds all dressed in a creamy, tart avocado vinaigrette. It was so ridiculously good that Babyface got halfway through his plate, glanced at his beer and said, “This salad is so delicious that I totally forgot to drink the beer.” Salad trumping beer? It must be something special. Even more so, I thought I hated arugula but in this dish, it was absolutely perfect. Obviously, it was the work of a well-trained, talented chef. The layers of flavors and textures were complex and interesting. And if Babyface actually touched his beer, he would have known that it paired perfectly with the small pour of Upland Wheat we were served.

Basically, it was the god of salads.

I knew immediately I had to try my hand at recreating it. If it was possible to make me want to cram greens into my piehole, I had to harness that genius in my own kitchen. After some thought, I realized the real super star of the salad was the vinaigrette. While all the individual elements were amazing and came together in a beautiful veggie-rific symphony, the vinaigrette was what really set everything off. I highly doubt I’ll ever pull together a salad of arugula, roasted purple potatoes and shaved asparagus, but I might be willing to spoon some of that vinaigrette on a standard mixture of greens and top it with some toasted almonds. And that I did. Dare I say, it was almost as good as the salad we were served?

The avocado in this dressing makes it so silky creamy that you’ll have a hard time believing there isn’t diary in it. Use good olive oil and fresh, bright lemon juice and you’ll have a new house dressing. This stuff now lives in a bottle in our fridge.

On the nutritional front, it’s hard to think of a better salad dressing for you. Avocados are packed with healthy fats, fiber, and vitamin K. Avocado flesh also helps the body to absorb two key antioxidants—lycopene and beta-carotene. Want to make sure your body gets all the antioxidants it can from your garden salad? Just add some avocado or this dressing and your body will soak ‘em right up.

The healthy fats in both the avocados and the olive oil helps the digestive tract to absorb nutrients, help keep inflammation down and help to lower the risk of heart disease. I bet your bottle of ranch dressing can’t say the same thing. Although, man, I love me some ranch dressing with breadsticks from Aver’s...

Creamy Avocado Vinaigrette

by Cassie Johnston

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: None

Makes: 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

NOTE: Some people have said that this recipe is way too tart for their tastes. I’ve made it quite a few times (it’s a summer staple for us!) and still love it, but if you aren’t a big fan of tang, try reducing the vinegar to 1/3 cup and use only half a lemon.

  1. In a food processor, combine avocado, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Run processor until very smooth and creamy.
  2. With processor running on low, stream in olive oil through the shoot until just combined.
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What’s your favorite salad dressing?

39 Comments

  1. damn! I just got back from the store, and now I’m kicking myself for not grabbing that bag of avocados ;) This looks delicious!

    • Run back out and get some. You will NOT be sorry. :)

      • I’m pinning this and will grab some this week! :D

      • Cassie, where do you get the bottles for your vinaigrette? It is so cute and would like to get some.

      • I got mine at a local grocery store. :)

  2. This looks amazing, I’ve got it pinned and ready to try!

    • Hope you love it! :)

  3. After reading just the title on this post, my response is OMG YES PLEASE.

    • Hahaha! I had no idea a salad dressing could elicit such a response. :)

  4. This sounds (and looks) absolutely yummy! How long does it keep in the fridge? – Without getting brown, that is ;)

    • You know, we’ve had it in an airtight bottle (the one in the picture) for four days and it still looks the bright beautiful green from these pictures. :)

      • Cool! Thanks :)

  5. Sounds excellent! Will try! P.s. Where did you find your silverware? I always love your food shots because I think your forks and spoons are so beautiful (the food is too). Would love to know where you found it!

    • Thanks! I love our silverware, too. It’s from Pottery Barn. We got it as wedding gifts five years ago, but it looks like the still sell it.

  6. Oh yum! Do you think it would work with any other kinds of vinegar (ie, apple cider)?

    • I don’t see why not! The white wine is a nice bright flavor, but others should work just fine as well. :)

    • Ah shoot, I tried it, and it turned out way too sharp tasting, if that makes sense. I’ll have to try again with the white wine vinegar….

      • I was going to ask the same because here in Bulgaria we don’t have the distilled white vinegar that seems to be so popular in US. So I was wondering if I could use only lemon juice, for example?

  7. I love cubed avocado in my salads and have been wanting to make an avocado dressing forever! I’m making a salad tonight for dinner and have all these ingredients at home!

    I’m now really looking forward to dinner tonight!

  8. I made this yesterday for our Mother’s Day dinner…EVERYONE Loved it!
    I will definitely be making this again…maybe weekly! ;)
    I might also try it with a little cilantro mixed in as well for a different flavor.
    Thanks so much for sharing this yummy recipe!

  9. I went online to find this and found your blog. I am so excited to try this!!

  10. THANK YOU for sharing this wonderful recipe!
    I had saved this recipe to my phone after reading this post in February. Tonight, exhausted and working on my last final of the quarter, I needed something quick, cheap, and easy that would make my gigantic salad of greens be tasty. This dressing was SOOO perfect! Thanks to you, my salad tasted awesome!! :)

    (By the way, I added 1/2 clove of elephant garlic (probably the equivalent of 3 small cloves) and really liked the way it rounded out the flavors and added a nice bite)

    Thanks again for all your awesome recipes!! <3

  11. That sounds SO delicious, I am going to get the ingredients ASAP (and might even gift this to my sisters since we all LOVE avocados). I also love that glass bottle and after scouring Google it looks like Sur la table sells almost an identical one.

  12. I made this recipe last night – it looks delicious but it’s WAY too tart. It’s very heavy on the vinegar. I added another half of an avocado to try and balance the flavors but it’s still quite acidic.

  13. yum! will try soon.
    thank you!
    my family thanks you!

  14. Potentially a silly questions (but I’m not very domestic) – can a blender be used instead of a food processor?

    • I don’t see why not! :)

  15. Ooh! This would be good on Tacos or with chicken wraps.

  16. I made this last night, and while I thought it was way too sharp/vinegary when I licked a bit off my finger, it was pretty perfect on the spinach. Next time I make it I’ll try the less vinegar/less lemon variation, because I was hoping for more avocado flavor. Thanks!

  17. Made this with the following “well this is the closest I’ve got” and “I really love this thing” modifications:

    Apple Cider Vinegar (halfway between 1/2 and 1/3 cup on my Pyrex 2 cup)

    bottled Lemon Juice and bottled Lime juice (equal parts each, went rest of way to 1/2 cup in the Pyrex)

    2 tsp Agave (sweet takes a bit of edge off the tart, complements carrots stupidly well)

    Green onions (4 chopped fine)

    1 TBSP dried cilantro (fresh kind was on the salad itself)

    1 whole clove roasted garlic

    Canola oil (no olive oil on hand, heart conscious for boyfriend with chest pains)

    1 tsp ea sea salt, basil, rosemary, oregano, paprika

    It was out-frelling standing. Went on a salad that had mushrooms cooked chemically in lemon/lime; fresh cilantro; mixed baby greens; finely diced red/green onions, sweet peppers (the kind you get in the big bags near the bell peppers); heirloom tomatoes, toasted almonds (I used coconut oil), and baby carrots.

    Things I’ll change next time:

    Light Olive oil, grapeseed oil, or a nut based oil (partial to almond) MIXED with coconut oil
    More lime than lemon, I’m thinking 2/1
    Slightly less total tart mixture, I’m shooting for just over 1/3 cup total
    no rosemary or oregano
    half as much paprika

    • Oh and fresh lime and lemon juice of course.

    • Try using avacado oil if you are going for heart healtht

  18. I made this dressing and then tossed it with a bag of broccoli slaw, diced red onion, and a dollop of homemade ranch dressing. After it sat in the fridge for a couple of hours to blend the flavors, I threw in some salted sunflower seeds. Delicious!!!!

  19. The original recipe is simple & great, as is. The addition of ranch dressing or canola oil are rancid oxidated fats & extremely unhealthy & ruin the whole idea of making a “healthy” salad dressing. The original recipe with or without any extras, is healthy. Not wise to substitute any oils unless it is coconut oil. 99% of all oils are rancid fat. cooked olive oil is oxidative rancid fat. Olive oil must remain room temperature to be healthy. All soy is bad, causes hair loss, blindness, cancer, & weight gain. UNLESS it is ORGANIC soy.

    • I think you must be defining “rancid” differently from the standard definition because nothing in this post makes a lick of sense.

  20. Looks fooodgadmic!<3

    • *fooodgasmic

  21. I notice you use a lot of olive oil in your recipes and it is a very misconception that olive oil is ‘healthy’ when in fact it is a powerful contributor to the epidemic of obesity. See:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGGQxJLuVjg

  22. Another link explaining how ‘olive oil is not a nealth food’

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