Summer Salad with Avocado Dressing

Summer Salad with Avocado Dressing | Food & Nutrition | Stone Soup
Photo by Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE

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

Serves 4

Ingredients

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

Salad

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Slice the avocado in half, remove the pit and skin and transfer its flesh to a large blender.
  2. Add garlic, yogurt, lime juice, olive oil, salt and cilantro with ⅓ cup water and blend until smooth. Adjust water to allow desired consistency.
  3. In a large bowl, add mango, cucumber, onion, tomatoes and black beans.
  4. Pour desired amount of dressing over veggies to coat well.
  5. Garnish with scallions and cilantro and serve chilled.

Recipe Notes

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.

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Sangeeta Pradhan
Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE, is the diabetes program coordinator of Charles River Medical Associates in Massachusetts, chair of the Central Mass Dietetic Association and nutrition columnist for India New England News. Read her blog, Web Dietitian, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.