Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Mixed Greens, Artichokes and Olives with Avocado Dressing

Since it's been so freakin' hot lately, I have been trying to avoid the oven, broiler and stove-top, which doesn't work so well for me since I like meat. A lot. And meat's usually better when it's somewhat cooked. Typically in the oven. Or broiler. Or stove-top. I'm not so much of a meat-lover that I'll prepare it in the microwave. That's like... blasphemy.

So I settled on this recipe. Rodney is a freak for avocados, so what better than a salad with olives and avocados, his two favorites? Best of all, no heat required!

I followed the recipe almost exactly. As usual, I substituted mildly.

Mixed Greens, Artichokes and Olives with Avocado Dressing

1 avocado, halved, divided
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1 1/2 tsp lime juice
1 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/3 c extra virgin olive oil

6.4 oz mixed salad greens and 2-3 oz romaine, chopped (8 cups packed)
1 whole peeled English cucumber, chopped
8 oz. marinated artichoke hearts, drained, coarsely chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 pitted green olives, coarsely chopped
8 pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped

Place half of the avocado in mini food processor or blender. (Reserve remaining half for garnish.) Add mayonnaise, lime juice, vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper; pulse until blended. With machine running, add oil in steady stream until smooth.

Initial ingredients in.

Pureed and then combined with oil. I was surprised this worked in our not-so-mini (aka huge) blender.

Combine greens, cucumbers, artichokes, bell pepper and olives in large bowl; toss with dressing. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss.

Greens and vegetables in.

Dressing poured on.

And salad tossed.

Thinly slice reserved avocado half; garnish salad with avocado.

Rodney and I both agreed this was just ok. It was certainly edible, but after a while, the avocado-iness started to get to me. Rodney liked the avocado and olives, but he wasn't too keen on my mixed green selection. I essentially used 6 oz of mixed baby greens which consisted of a lot of bitter greens and supplemented the remaining couple ounces with chopped romaine.

The recipe was pretty easy. If you have a mini-chopper/blender you use regularly, this may be a winner for you. We have a giant blender that is used almost strictly for Rodney's coffee-bean grinding. And that means it rarely gets washed. So everything the blender does get washed for, has a distinct coffee aroma. Imagine that with this dressing. Not what I'd call wonderful. Really, it's almost what I'd call gross.


  • red bell pepper: $1.29/0.52 lb
  • romaine lettuce: $0.89/head
  • baby greens: $1.99/6.4 oz
  • avocado: $1.99 (OUCH!)
  • red wine vinegar: $2.63/16 oz
  • mayo: $6.99/64 fl. oz
  • English cucumber: $1.49/ea
Um, how do I calculate this? Ok, I'll tally all the items I have prices for and assume they off-set the ones I don't have prices for.

Total: $17.27! Jinkies! That's a LOT for a stupid salad that only yielded 3 main course servings! I'm thinkin' that maybe, just maybe, my gross estimate threw off my numbers. After all, we didn't use a whole vat of mayo or bottle of vinegar.

I'll leave it to you to determine if it's worth your while (and pocketbook) to make this one. We will only do it again if we have no meat, are suffering extreme heat, coupled with greens-a-plenty (primarily of the romaine variety) and extra avocado combo happening.