Fresh Avocado Fiesta Dressing
March 21, 2011

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On Thursday, when I arrived in NOLA, I made a quick grocery run to Whole Foods with Knud as my chaperone. As we strolled the produce aisles, Knud came upon a sample of a new flavor of Cindy’s dressing: fresh avocado vinaigrette. Normally, I’d have walked past it: I almost never purchase salad dressings. I like to make my own—dressing is actually one of my favorite things to make, period—and I also think it’s silly to spend money on something in a bottle when it’s far cheaper and more delicious to DIY. Knud’s reaction to the dressing, however, was overwhelmingly positive, and the notion of fresh avocado anything caught my attention, so I decided to give it a try.

It was awesome.

Of course it was awesome. It was avocado mixed with the flavors of roasted tomato salsa, white vinegar, and a little cayenne pepper. How could it not have been awesome? In fact, I was a little upset that I hadn’t thought of it first. I promptly purchased the bottle, and spent the rest of the weekend devouring it over salads. But what I really wanted was to think of a way to imitate—or even surpass—the dressing at home.

Today at lunchtime, I made good on that goal. My version is a little different from the Cindy’s original—it’s not quite as spicy or oniony or garlicky (because I omitted the garlic, and went easy on the onion and spice), but I think it’s equally fresh and tasty. It’s nice and tart, easy to make, and since I used fresh tomatoes and onions in place of roasted or canned ones, it’s all raw.

You can imagine my dismay today, when I returned from the 80 degree, dry, and sunny skies of NOLA to a “wintery mix” of snow and slush and rain in NYC. (Yes, snow.) Oftentimes, my readers report having a hard time eating raw or mostly raw meals when it’s cold or rainy out—they want warm food, they say, as comfort. I feel this way too sometimes, but I have to admit that I usually have the opposite impulse: rainy skies and chilly winds often make me crave summery flavors or foods. It’s just wishful thinking. Today’s lunchtime nutrient dense salad of romaine, red peppers, black beans, and cucumber, dressed in my new spicy and fresh avocado dressing, was like a giant, crunchy bowl of guac and salsa. The black beans rounded out the meal’s nutrition, and they added to the summery theme.

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On the side, I had some of my Foods Alive flax crackers, which I intend to review soon!

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Here’s the dressing that made it all happen:

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Fresh Avocado Fiesta Dressing (Raw, vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Yields 2 1/2 – 3 cups

1/2 large avocado
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
Juice of 2 limes
1 tsp Herbamare or Spike seasoning (optional)
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste–the Herbamare will add salt, too)
Cayenne pepper to taste
1 2/3 cups water
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or flax oil
1/2 cup chopped tomato
1/3 cup chopped white or yellow onion
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1) Blend first eight ingredients together in a high speed blender till totally creamy.

2) Add the tomato, onion, and cilantro, and blend for about 30 seconds, or until the vegetables are mostly blended in, but the dressing maintains a little bit of texture. Serve over fresh greens, raw veggies, or however you like!

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A truly delicious new dressing to savor.

Not a fan of fiesta flavors? That’s OK. Why don’t you give my avocado cumin dressing or my sweet and salty avocado dressing a try? I’m a huge fan of them both.

And now, I’m overdue for some nuclear chemistry. See you guys back here tomorrow!

xo

Categories: Dressings

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    51 Comments
  1. I love this dressing! I had it over a cauliflower rice salad and it was seriously good. I substituted smoked paprika for the other spices, and got funny looks from my other half as I exclaimed on every bite. Thanks Gena!x

  2. Can’t wait to try this! Life has been upside down and busy lately and I’ve found myself living on green juice. Some solid food with my favorite green flesh sounds amazing.

  3. Oh my, this dressing looks and sound amazing! How long do you think it would stay fresh in the fridge? Did it turn brown on you or did all the lime juice keep it greenish?

  4. The recipe sounds great 🙂 I’m saving avocado for a decadent breakfast tomorrow, but next time I buy some, I have to try this 🙂 One question though – can this dressing last, say, 2-3 days in the fridge? I can’t imagine eating 3 cups of dressing in one day 😉 And my experience with avocados in salads so far is that they get dark and bitter pretty soon, even if I add some lemon/lime juice… So I tend to use avos when I can eat them immediately, but could I make this dressing and take it to work with my lunch?

    By the way, Gena, I’m testing your recipes one by one and I’m still surprised, how great raw food can be 🙂 More than that – my co-workers keep asking what is it in my lunch that smells/looks so great :)Keep it up please 🙂

  5. Ooh sounds delicious! I have yet to make your salty/sweet avocado dressing because I can’t seem to find white balsamic vinegar. I wonder if I could use rice wine vinegar?

  6. Oh my that looks…perfect. We are grateful to the NOLA Whole Foods for drawing you in!

    And nuclear chemistry sounds interesting. And timely.

  7. This looks awesome. Definitely making it when my vegan Caesar runs out 🙂

    I understand the craving something summery in winter because I often do as well, but I can’t quite understand it for those that eat most of their meals in heated houses and offices in the winter. Although I still eat smoothies and salads in winter, I think it’s completely different here in a place where we don’t have heating. In America it was easy for me to get away with cold foods in winter because I was blessed with central heating. Here it’s colder inside than out during the winter, both at home and at work for me. I actually wear 2-4 shirts, 2 pairs of pants, a scarf and gloves INSIDE (though I should note I am a baby…our daytime high temperatures in winter are in the 60s. I am pathetic.). I eat my raw foods in winter because they make me feel good, but I can’t help but think it would be much smarter to eat like my husband (stodge)! Oh, if only I could be satisfied by Dahl or beans and rice every day like him 😉

  8. Yum, I can’t wait to try this dressing! I’m such a fan of any avocado-based dressing, thanks for the recipe! I really don’t buy dressings either, it’s too much fun creating veggie based dressings in the Vita-Mix.

  9. I’m so excited to try this. My train of thought was wondering along a similar path to many of your other readers. Can regular balsamic be substituted? Thanks for the great recipe

  10. I never usually buy salad dressing either. I use Vegenaise as the base of tons of my salad dressings and tweak the flavors with everything from stevia and cinnamon sugar to dill and herbs to adding lemon juice to horseradish. The same can be done to avocados, too, as you did! I love avos but sometimes don’t have them handy and I always have vegenaise handy. I know some people hate mayo. I happen to adore it 🙂 I love avos, too!

    Glad you made it back, safe and sound, even tho the weather was craptastic.

    Happy studying 🙂

  11. This looks wonderful! I’ve been averse to avocado most f my life but have recently got into it by, erm, using it in a frosting for my raw brownies… this might be a slightly more legitimate way to eat copious amounts of avocado 😉

  12. This looks delicious! My salads are rarely complete without avocado, and turning it into a dressing it one way to make it easily accessible.

  13. This looks super tasty. I love avocado oh- so much, so I’m sure I’d adore this wholemade dressing 🙂
    Think regular balsamic work would instead of white?

  14. Giiiiirl I love avocado!! You know I am obsessed. There is currently tons of mousse in my fridgy fridge. Slash I don’t buy dressings either, it is so much easier just to make it! How does white balsamic taste different from regular?

  15. Oh man, I love avocado, as you saw from my last post 😉 … but usually I hate the pre-made salad dressings that contain them. This looks delicious; I’ve never added white balsamic vinegar to mine! (In fact, if I’m being honest, I had no idea there was such a thing…haha.) Thanks for sharing Gena! You have me all geared up for spring produce…

  16. Mmm this looks so yummy! Adding salsa and guac to a salad makes it amazing. I was just at WF yesterday and bought those crackers-the Italian Zest flavor. I hope they are good-they have amazing nutritional stats.