Creamy Avocado Dip & Dressing

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Do you ever look at a menu and pick out a meal because the description sounds real dreamy? You wait patiently (scratch that, impatiently) for the server to place the food in front of you, only to take your first giddy bite and feel....disappointed. 

I know, this situation is truly not that devastating, there are way bigger problems out there. But if you're anything like me and eating out is really exciting because you don't do it a whole lot, then maybe you're just hopin' & wishin' for something real satisfying and good.

Anyone?

This scenario happened recently. I ordered a salad with a creamy-lemon-avocado-garlic-thyme dressing. I was so excited for this salad because of that dressing -- it's a whole lot of my favorite things all blended together. And friend, it just wasn't what I thought it would be.

So when we got home, I tried recreating it. This recipe turns more into a dip -- perfect for dunking sliced veggies or pita chips like you would hummus. Or even spreading on a sandwich as you would mayo or mustard. When I added a bit of water and gave it a stir, it was perfect for pouring on top of a salad.

I hope you enjoy!

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RECIPE :: CREAMY AVOCADO DRESSING

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 avocado
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbs mustard
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 small shallot, roughly chopped
  • 2 sprigs thyme, pulled off stem
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • water as needed

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Place all ingredients in a standard, wide-mouth mason jar.
  • Using an immersion blender, blend all your ingredients together right in the jar. Blend until thick & creamy.
  • If you're using this as a dip or spread, the consistency should be just fine as is. If you want to use this as a dressing for a salad,  add a few tablespoons of water and give it a stir.
  • Guys, that's it.
  • You're done.
  • Happy eating!

Hi there, from the very beginning I wanted this space to feel as though we were sitting at a table swapping stories & recipes. So I write as I would to a friend. And while I definitely take a more minimalist approach to life (thrifting & second hand are my jam) I do want to let you know of products I am using that I really enjoy. Particularly ones that make cooking & gathering way easier! I promise to only share about products & brands I believe in AND actually use.

An immersion blender is one of those trusted tools I use on repeat. I use it for soups, stews, and dressings. And best of all, it's small. It fits in any space or kitchen. Below is a link to the one I have.

Disclosure -- the link below is an affiliate link. That means if you end up purchasing it, any tiny bit of funds goes back into this space. I am so grateful for your support. xoxo

What I'm cookin'

I felt the urge to change it up. I talk a big talk about loving to gather folks around my table but I realized, I hadn't posted a recipe in forever. Plus, if you've seen my instagram feed at all you'll notice food. Lots and lots of food.

So here comes some food talk. Ya ready? We're going big here. I'm sharing three recipes. Stick with me until the end, it'll be worth it. Promise:)

granola

Granola.

I love it. I love it in the morning, in the afternoon as a snack and in milk at night for dessert. I could do eat it all day. But, we all know granola is pricey. And a large container of oats is not. So on my best days, I make granola for me and the hubs. On most other days, we go granola-less.

One of my fav granola recipes is Joy the Baker's Cocoa Almond Granola. [I couldn't locate the recipe on her site so I included where I found it]. When I taught cooking classes to high school students this used to be one of their favorite recipes.

I think because if you closed your eyes you might just think you're eating cocoa puffs.

I doubled the recipe because let's be real - we eat this fast. I keep a large mason jar filled in the fridge while I bag the rest and keep it in the freezer - to keep it fresh.

*Few changes I made: I doubled the oats, cinnamon, salt, and cocoa powder but left everything else as is. And guess what? It tasted just fine. I prefer things on the less sweet side anyway. And, almonds are expensive. 

tomatoes

When I think summer, I think tomatoes. I think crazy tie-dyed tomatoes of all shapes and sizes and textures. The way tomatoes should be. And when I think tomatoes I tend to think two things...

Bacon and Chips.

Last week I helped a friend harvest tomatoes, kale and beans at a farm. I swear, every time I plucked one of those juicy red tomatoes from the vine I imagined crusty bread and big slabs of bacon in-between. You better believe the moment I came home Matthew and I ran to the store and bought the staples - bread, cheese and bacon.

It. was. glorious.

Moving on to chips.

My family are snackers. If you come over and sit at our table, chances are it'll feel like happy hour - salsa and chips, cheese and crackers, veggies and dip. We like to snack - a lot. Matt's not a snacker. I still don't really understand this about him.

I would never put my nose up to store bought salsa but there is something incredible about fresh garden salsa made with tomatoes that look super funky. I didn't follow a recipe on this one or measure [that might go against food blogging etiquette entirely] but it's like, when you have good news to share you have to tell it right away.

Particularly when you currently have chips stuffed in your face.

So here's how it went down.

Grab a bunch of tomatoes of all shapes and sizes and colors - sun golds, cherry's, heirlooms, whatever. Let's say it averaged about 3-4 cups [don't quote me on this]. Roughly chop big tomatoes and throw smaller ones right into your food processor or blender.

Grab an onion. Again, any kind of onion will do here. Roughly chop and throw it in there too.

Give it a few pulses.

Grab some cilantro [I was overjoyed we had some leftover in the fridge, a few leaves were goners but the rest was fine]. Take a handful, stems and all, roughly chop. And, you guessed it, throw it in the processor.

Throw in some garlic. A clove or two?

Sprinkle some salt in there too. Squeeze a lime if you have it.

Here's the game changer. I grew up in a house where pepper was considered spicy. So you could say, I am little sensitive to spicy food. Plus, I always start sweating profusely at the tops of my cheeks, right under my eyes. A nice summer glow with the right crowd though a tad embarrassing with folks I don't know so well.

This salsa was going over to the tribe, our people, so I felt totally comfortable with a little sweat.

Throw two [three if you like it hot] chipotle peppers in adobe sauce, seeds and all, in the processor.

Give it all a good mix. Taste, adjust salt and seasonings, and enjoy with some chips.

YOU'RE WELCOME.

bread

Last but not least - zucchini bread. Summer is about more than tomatoes, it's also about squash - LOTS of squash. You could say I was a little weary when more zucchini and squash showed up in our weekly CSA basket.

Don't get me wrong. I love squash. I've just been a little squashed out. So, I figured it was time for some bread.

We're giving Joy the Baker another shout out here because her almost vegan zucchini bread is on point. You probably noticed by all the bacon talk that I am not vegan but I love recipes for all diets.

Since I'm not one to run to the store between cooking and baking - I made a few changes.

*Few changes I made: I used ground nutmeg instead of grated, and allspice instead of cloves. I didn't have buttermilk/didn't feel like making it and was really curious if it would still taste good without it so I used almond milk instead. Making it completely vegan, I believe? Again, I cut both sugars in half but did sprinkle some cane sugar on top of the loaves before putting them into the oven. It added a nice sweet crunch on top and a pretty shimmer. Lastly, no nuts - didn't have them so I didn't add them.

Oh and the biggest change here - I used yellow squash instead of zucchini. I have to admit, I was worried about this one - thinking maybe it would go against every rule of baking. But I did my research and found you can swap the two just fine. I peeled the squash before grating it since the peel tends to be thicker than zucchini.

I baked mine in three small loaf pans because I love small things. I also like the idea of keeping one, sharing another and giving one to your neighbor. They took longer to bake than just one large loaf, I'd say around 40-50 minutes in my oven. 

Phew. Thanks for sticking with me on this one. I love sharing my kitchen adventures with you. And, I love hearing back. Tell me, what recipes are you loving and why?

Here's to making happy messes in the kitchen!

xoxo