This California Salad with Avocado Oil Vinaigrette was created in partnership with DeLallo. All opinions are our own.
Our Pretty Simple Cooking book tour took us all over the country, and on the road we stayed in the homes of friends or family. I love seeing what’s inside people’s kitchens, and on these visits one thing stuck out to me. Several times, I noticed avocado oil sitting on the counter. Olive oil is pretty standard, but I was intrigued: why avocado oil? When I asked this question to separate friends, they all had a similar answer. Avocado oil is a neutral-tasting cooking oil with a very high smoke point, so it’s perfect for sauteing and frying. And, it has a unique flavor that’s delicious when drizzled over salad greens or whisked into an avocado oil vinaigrette. Is avocado oil the trendy new thing? Yes, but it seems like it’s here to stay! And after making this healthy avocado oil vinaigrette, we’re hooked.
All about avocado oil
When DeLallo came to us to create a recipe with their extra-virgin avocado oil, we didn’t know much about avocado oil. Healthy avocado oil salad dressing is one place to start, but there are all sorts of ways to use this healthy oil. Here are a few things we learned about avocado oil:
- Avocado oil comes from the first cold press of the fruit, and has all the health benefits of raw avocados. It’s loaded with healthy monosaturated fats and antioxidants, and is a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals.
- The flavor is nutty, buttery, fruity and mildly sweet, just like a fresh avocado.
- The oil is ultra-versatile with a high smoke point, perfect for drizzling, dressing, dipping, marinating and high-heat cooking.
- DeLallo avocado oil is made with fresh handpicked Chilean Hass Avocados and is produced in Chile.
- Each bottle contains the oil of about 12 whole avocados!
How to make homemade salad dressing with avocado oil
So, how to make homemade salad dressing with avocado oil? It’s essentially the same as other dressings that you whisk together at home, with one caveat. While making this avocado oil vinaigrette, we learned that avocado oil doesn’t act the same way as olive oil. Using the amount of acid (citrus or vinegar) we’d typically use in an olive oil dressing resulted in a watery consistency when we used avocado oil. There was no emulsion, so the dressing didn’t stick to the salad greens. So in our avocado oil vinaigrette recipe, we’ve cut the vinegar and added more Dijon mustard to carry the texture! The resulting avocado oil vinaigrette is perfectly creamy and tart, perfect for any salad.
What’s a California salad?
To go with our healthy avocado oil salad dressing, we came up with this California salad. We made up the name California salad, since it’s loosely based on a salad we had in LA while on book tour in California! While our salad ended up pretty different from the original one, it’s incredibly delicious and a perfect way to show off the flavor of the avocado oil and vinegar dressing. The salad features greens, chickpeas, fresh dill, and ricotta salata cheese, a delicious cheese we ate on several salads in California and loved. If you can’t find ricotta salata cheese, feta crumbles work as well.
Also, all of the fresh salad ingredients here were purchased at our local farmer’s market and grown by our favorite farmers at Full Hand Farm. So I guess you could call our version an Indiana Salad…? Make sure to shop local where possible!
How about you: have you tried avocado oil? Would you make this healthy avocado oil salad dressing? Let us know in the comments below! As always, show us on Instagram if you make our salad or dressing by tagging @acouplecooks and @delallofoods.
How to find avocado oil
DeLallo is our favorite avocado oil, and good news! You can find it online here, or in a local grocery that carries DeLallo products.
This recipe is…
This California salad with avocado oil vinaigrette is vegetarian, gluten free, naturally sweet, and refined sugar free. For vegan and plant based, omit the cheese.
Avocado is the new trendy oil–but it’s here to stay! Here’s how to make a delicious avocado oil vinaigrette.
For the avocado oil vinaigrette
- 1/3 cup DeLallo Extra Virgin Avocado Oil
- 1/2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1/2 small garlic clove, grated
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Fresh ground pepper
For the salad
- 1 to 2 heads Boston lettuce or fresh high-quality local baby greens, enough for 8 cups
- 2 carrots
- 2 green onions
- 4 radishes
- 15-ounce can chickpeas, optional
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- Torn fresh dill
- Ricotta salata, sliced or feta crumbles (omit for vegan)
For the avocado oil vinaigrette: Measure out the avocado oil into a glass measuring cup. In a medium bowl, whisk together the white wine vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, grated garlic, kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper. Then gradually pour in the avocado oil, whisking constantly, until fully integrated and a creamy emulsion forms.
Wash and dry the lettuce and chop it into bite-sized pieces (if using baby greens, no chopping is necessary). Use a vegetable peeler to peel the carrots into ribbons. Thinly slice the green onions and radishes.
If using chickpeas, drain and rinse them, then mix them with a drizzle of avocado oil, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper.
To assemble the salad, place the greens on the serving bowls or plates. Top with chickpeas, carrots, radishes, almonds, torn fresh dill, and ricotta salata or feta crumbles, then drizzle with avocado oil vinaigrette.
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