Thursday, March 25, 2010
Cooking from the Garden
Unbelievably, despite the cold winter and past few weeks of torrential rains, the daffodils have started blooming in my garden. Yesterday I strolled down to the herb garden to see how things are faring and found both chives and scallions ready to pick.
I wanted to incorporate these harbingers of Spring into dinner last night so I whipped up a batch of Creamy Avocado Dressing With Herbs. This is a great dressing that satisfies that urge for a creamy salad dressing without having to resort to sour cream or mayonnaise. In fact, the only fat in the dressing is the avocado itself (butter milk is fat free). I don't even use any other oil. The buttermilk also adds a bit of "tang" to the dressing which I love. The squeeze of lemon juice helps to retain the color, so if you don't use it right away it can keep for a few days in the fridge (and never seems to last longer than that). I sat down one day to figure out the calories in the dressing (based on the ingredients) and figured out that 1/4 of a cup (which is a big helping) has about 70 calories in it, which is great when you compare it to other creamy dressings' calorie counts.
Best of all. the Avocado and fresh herbs in the dressing help to up my raw percentage for the week. It's not a completely raw dressing, but it's more than half raw.
I also love this dressing because it makes a great "sauce" to use on poached fish or grilled meats. Last night I made a simple dinner of poached salmon and a salad of romaine leaves and grape tomatoes (you know my motto, "have a little raw with every meal"). I then used my Creamy Avocado Dressing with Herbs over both the fish and the salad. I also love to use this dressing on grilled chicken breasts. If you serve the meat cold, it's a great summer meal.
Creamy AvocadoDressing with Herbs
1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
2 scallions, both green and white parts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup fresh chives
1/2 cup fresh parsley
3 tablespoons white wine, champagne or White balsamic vinegar
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 cup buttermilk
salt and pepper
Put everything in a blender and puree until smooth.
Note: if you reduce the buttermilk to 1/2 cup, this also makes a great vegetable dip for crudities.