Butter Lettuce Citrus Salad with Avocado Shallot Dressing
Butter Lettuce Citrus Salad with Avocado Shallot Dressing is a refreshing, light salad of butter lettuce, orange segments, avocado, and pomegranate, tossed in a creamy avocado-shallot dressing.
At last, my posts are catching up to my healthier eating. 🙂 I don’t make new year’s resolutions, but almost automatically, my cravings shun sweets for healthier food after eating multiple desserts every day for an extended period of time. Too many sweets really start to get to me after a while, which means I up the ante on the vegetables and exercise, and I immediately start to feel good again, inside and out. This salad was so good, it was like a treat, too. 😉
The inspiration for this salad came from I meal my husband and I had at legendary restaurant Chez Panisse in the cafe upstairs. It was our first visit, and it was a wonderful experience. While the downstairs restaurant is very formal with a prix fixed menu, the cafe upstairs has a traditional menu, and is rustic and more relaxed. Our first course was the Little Gems Salad with Avocado Dressing, and it was out of this world. It wasn’t just a salad…it was soft, butter lettuce with a dressing that had so much flavor that I just wanted to drink it out of a glass. I didn’t…but I wanted to. 😉
I re-created this salad as best I could, and served it for a family gathering. It got rave reviews, and I was very happy with the results. The dressing has a lot of flavor, most of which comes from the mild, onion bite from the shallots. I was tasting it as I made it, and I decided to pulse some shallots in with the rest of the ingredients in the food processor, with more finely chopped shallots stirred in. You just can’t substitute anything else for the shallots — trust me on this one. 🙂 The dressing won’t turn brown on you as there’s plenty of acidity from fresh lemon and orange juice, so it keeps in an air tight container in the fridge. Mine only lasted a few days because it was so good, but I’m guessing it may last a week for you. If you’re like my household, it won’t last that long for you either. 😉
- 1 small avocado, pitted
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot (about 1 large shallot), divided
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
- 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 head butter lettuce, tough outer leaves removed, washed and drained
- 1 large orange or two medium oranges, peeled and segmented
- 1 large avocado, pitted and sliced width-wise
- ¼ cup pomegranate arils
- Place the small avocado, 1 tablespoon shallot, lemon and orange juice, balsamic vinegar, and granulated sugar in a food processor. Pulse until smooth. With the food processor on, add the olive oil in slow, steady stream until incorporated. Add salt and pepper to taste, and pulse. Place the dressing in a bowl and stir in the remaining one tablespoon of minced shallots. Set aside.
- Tear the butter lettuce and place in a large serving bowl. Add the orange segments and slices of avocado, and toss gently. Add enough dressing to coat, tossing gently (I only needed about ⅓ of the dressing). Top each salad plate with pomegranate arils and serve immediately. Enjoy!
Dressing should be stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator. The dressing will solidify in the refrigerator, so let stand it at room temperature for about 10 minutes and whisk before using.
Recipe by Flavor the Moments.