Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A delicious salad dressing

I got this idea from the marvelous new Rick Bayless restaurant in Chicago, Xoco, where I had a simple salad with dressing that was so remarkable, I asked the chef for her recipe and whether I could bring a bottle of it home.

She told me the ingredients but said it's so perishable that they make it fresh every day--alas, not possible to bottle the stuff.

To accompany our Valentine's Day dinner (main dish recipe below), I tried to approximate Xoco's dressing on a broccoli slaw base. At this time of year, however, they didn't have cilantro at the market so I had to substitute parsley, which affected the results.

Also note that you can adjust the liquid ingredients (half & half, olive oil) to make the dressing more or less thick. For instance, if you want to serve it on lettuces, it would be better at a thinner consistency.

Recipe: Broccoli Slaw with Avocado-Lime Dressing
(Makes 4 servings)

For the dressing:
In a food processor, puree two-thirds of a very ripe avocado with the juice of one lime, a handful of parsley or (preferably) cilantro, 2 T fat free half and half*, 2 T olive oil, a sprinkle of garlic powder, salt and pepper. When smooth, taste for seasonings and adjust as needed.

Note: Sour cream would be ideal here, but I didn't have any on hand. A reader busted me in a comment about using fat free h&h, saying it's "chemicals." If anyone knows an acceptable (& healthier) substitute for the stuff, especially that will taste good in my hot tea and coffee, please post a comment.

For the salad:
Place one package broccoli slaw in a large salad bowl. Stir in 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into small strips, and 1 T rinsed capers.
Pour dressing on salad and toss well.
When serving, slice the remaining avocado onto plates.


  1. how is fat free half and half healthy? that's not even food, that's chemicals.

  2. I get your point completely! A couple of years ago I tried to give the stuff up. But regular H&H is full of sat fat and skim milk tastes like water in my morning hot tea or occasional coffee. It is the one questionable thing in my fridge -- honest!
    You caught me on this one, for sure.
    A substitute in this recipe would be sour cream, in fact that's what Xoco used but I do not keep that on hand nor can I justify buying a whole container for 2T in this recipe.
    By the way, I don't claim to be a purist about health--if you've read this blog, surely you have noticed that.
    Anyhow, thanks for the comment and I'll post about the fat free H&H conundrum sometime soon.