The awesome avocado: High in heart-healthy, mono-unsaturated fats and with a hefty serving of fiber, this fruit ( yes, avocados are fruits), is just brimming with goodness, coming pretty close I dare say, to what I would call a “nutritional super star”. Oh, did I neglect to mention an unforgettable, lusciously creamy texture? No prizes for guessing, I’m a huge fan of avocados. Aside from a winning nutrient profile and irresistible taste, avocados can be incredibly versatile as they are so easy to blend into a quick smoothie, whip into a hummus or dump into a salad. This simple recipe blends the creamy flesh of one avocado with garlic, freshly squeezed lime, a dash of yogurt and olive oil to produce a lip-smacking, delicious dressing that will have your friends thinking you slaved over it, when in fact it can be literally whipped up in minutes!
Summer Salad with Avocado Dressing
- 1 large, ripe avocado
- 1 clove garlic, peeled, roughly chopped
- ¼ to ⅓ cup low-fat or fat-free yogurt
- Juice of ½ a freshly squeezed large lime
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium hot pepper, crushed (optional)
- Salt to taste
- 3 to 4 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1 ripe mango, peeled and cubed
- 2 English cucumbers, peeled and chopped
- ½ cup red onion, chopped
- 2 fresh, ripe tomatoes, quartered
- 1 15.5-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed thoroughly
- 2 tablespoons scallions, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- Slice the avocado in half, remove the pit and skin and transfer its flesh to a large blender.
- Add garlic, yogurt, lime juice, olive oil, salt and cilantro with ⅓ cup water and blend until smooth. Adjust water to allow desired consistency.
- In a large bowl, add mango, cucumber, onion, tomatoes and black beans.
- Pour desired amount of dressing over veggies to coat well.
- Garnish with scallions and cilantro and serve chilled.
Choose avocados that are ripe but firm ( should “give” slightly under pressure but not feel squishy). Use the dressing within 3 to 5 days for best results. I would urge you to use freshly squeezed lime juice and not the “bottled” variety, as you will notice a remarkable difference in the taste and flavor. To make an avocado hummus or dip, simply reduce the water as desired in the above recipe, to allow a thicker consistency.