I have never been a fan of store bought dressing. Growing up, I was used to salad simply dressed with oil and vinegar. I started experimenting with mixing my own vinaigrettes recently and was amazed at how easy and quick it is to whip together a super tasty dressing. I’ve come up with some blends that really make me excited about eating salad. Even better, since I started making homemade vinaigrette, my husband even requests salad now!
This recipe uses lemon juice instead of vinegar. I originally made this with olive oil, but decided to try it this time with avocado oil instead. Avocado oil can easily be substituted for olive oil and has similar nutrition benefits. It is delightfully buttery and the flavor mixes really well with lemon.
Note that some avocado oil is refined and some is not. For salad dressings, I definitely recommend avocado oil that is not refined. Refined avocado oil doesn’t have much flavor or color and is great for cooking since it has a very high smoke point (around 500 degrees). I used (unrefined) La Tourangelle avocado oil here, which has a beautiful greenish hue and rich flavor.
This vinaigrette comes together with only six ingredients: avocado oil, lemon juice, garlic, grated parmigiano cheese, salt and pepper.
The secret ingredient of this vinaigrette? Garlic! I smash the garlic through a garlic press making it the perfect consistency to blend into a dressing for salad. I find this mellows out the raw garlic enough to add a zing without being too overpowering. When I’ve made this dressing without a garlic press, it had a much stronger flavor so if you aren’t using a press I would reduce the amount of garlic you use.
I particularly like this lemon vinaigrette for a salad topped with fish, such as roasted smoked salmon. I threw together this salad with what I had on hand: about half a head of bib lettuce, a handful of baby spinach, about half as much fresh basil, a few grape tomatoes, canned sweet corn, and roasted smoked salmon. It made a fresh and light lunch!
Lemon Garlic Avocado Oil Vinaigrette
1 clove garlic
Juice from 1/2 lemon (approx. 1 1/2 T)
1 t grated cheese (such as romano or parmigiano)
1/8 t salt
1/8 t pepper
1 1/2 T avocado oil
Use a garlic press to press the garlic. Add lemon, grated cheese, salt and pepper. Whisk together and slowly pour in avocado oil while whisking. Add lettuce or other greens and toss to coat. Then add in additional salad ingredients.