Avocado and Orange Chopped Salad

This Avocado and Orange Chopped Salad is filled with fresh ingredients and topped with a wonderful honey mustard dressing.

Chopped Salad with Avocado and Orange with an Orange Honey Mustard Dressing Served on a Green Plate

Do you remember ‘back in the day’ when you would go to most restaurants and every table had a bottle of oil and vinegar sitting by some napkins and you wondered who the heck would EVER be satisfied with such a simple dressing when you could order a salad with creamy Thousand Island or Ranch dressings? I do and I confess I was one of those culprits.

I couldn’t even stand what was called Italian dressing back then but it was just a derivation of the same thing but with dried herbs as the bonus. Not much better. If I knew then what I know now; I could have been enjoying salads like this Avocado and Orange Chopped Salad many years ago!

Fortunately, as surely as I eventually segued from margarine to butter I also made the move from those creamy (and I’m certain store-bought) dressings to lighter and more flavorful fare. The biggest impetus for that change was the discovery of what had previously been a mysterious and foreign entity…olive oil. I won’t deny that the first time I tried olive oil I might have been less than excited; I think we do get used to certain things and change is hard but I knew it was supposed to be better for us than butter and I kept at it and I’m so glad I did.

It’s a staple in my kitchen today and guess what I  have sitting next to my stove. Well, a bottle of olive oil and some balsamic vinegar; the better to make my own dressings with my dear!

Chopped Salad with Avocado and Orange with an Orange Honey Mustard Dressing - the ingredients.

While I have a great salad dressing recipe to share with you today; more than anything I would love to encourage those of you still buying bottled products to try something new. I absolutely love a simple olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing on salads today; I’m so bad I don’t even mix them. I simply pour a bit of olive oil over my greens and shake a bit of vinegar on top and voila; done. And delicious.

There are two things I make in my kitchen that are amazing when crafted at home but that too often people think are more timely or complicated than they are and that’s cocktails and salad dressings. I’ve done my work sharing cocktails and it’s easy to see that most are a 5 minute prep and the same is true with salad dressings. Most often a combination of olive oil, vinegar, seasoning, salt and pepper.

That’s it…easy right? And no dry seasonings either; this is a time when the use of fresh ingredients will really make your salads sing. For this salad today I included avocado, oranges, candied almonds, dried cranberries and green onion with a touch of orange juice in the dressing. It tasted like summer (especially if I ignore the snow outside).

chopped-salad-herbs

My oldest daughter used to say lettuce was simply a vehicle for dressings and she’s right isn’t she; who eats plain lettuce anyway? But if we’re going to flavor lettuce, let’s do it right. Fresh basil, chives, rosemary and thyme are my favorite herb additions but then I do grow those from May through October outside and even manage to keep a small lot going through the winter! One huge change over the years since my ‘awakening’ is the wide variety of olive oils available.

Different olive oils really can make a difference in the end result so experiment a bit depending on the ingredients in your salad. I love the olive oils from California Olive Ranch and I used the Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil in this recipe today; much like wine each oil has their own taste profile and excels with certain foods. The Arbequina shows notes of tropical fruits and fresh artichoke and is perfect for pestos and salads or used for drizzling over bruschetta. Simply perfect for both avocado and orange.

Chopped Salad with Avocado and Orange with an Orange Honey Mustard Dressing.

I don’t know about you; but this salad is so representative of our Easter meal today. Where many years ago I might spend hours preparing a feast for family and friends, I made the decision years ago to only do that on Thanksgiving; both Christmas and Easter have segued to meals that are not just easier but lighter too. I can only handle that ONE day of overdoing it each year!

We have grown to love a simple lamb roast with a salad on the side, some homemade rolls and that one spectacular dessert and we’re happy. This salad is a perfect fit and the dressing is so good you’ll want a batch on hand for more than just this salad; trust me the bottle I have in my fridge now says so!

Fruit salad with Orange Honey Mustard Dressing

I decided to make a new version of a Honey Mustard Salad Dressing using olive oil instead of mayonnaise. Can I just say how much I love this lighter version of Honey Mustard Dressing? Let’s see, so far this week I’ve used it for this salad, another salad (shown above) with raspberries, blackberries, croutons, cheese and avocado and last night I served it with pan fried chicken tenders as a dipping sauce. I mean we LOVE it!

If you have ever purchased or even made a honey mustard dressing you have to try this version with olive oil; it’s so fantastic that I think it’s my new house dressing. Maybe it’s a leap of faith but I promise; once you start to make your own dressings you will never turn back. So easy, so good and so versatile.

food network logoPlease take a moment to visit my friends sharing posts today with The Food Network; all created as great side dishes for your Easter Meal. We’ve got a pin board too showcasing dishes from every week of our #SensationalSides so come visit!

PIN ‘Avocado and Orange Chopped Salad with Orange Honey Mustard Dressing’

 Avocado and Orange Chopped Salad with Cranberries Served on a Green Plate

Ingredients for Avocado and Orange Chopped Salad

Avocado and Orange Chopped Salad with Orange Honey Mustard Dressing

A fresh and fruity salad with a delicious honey mustard dressing.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Salads, Dressings, Marinades and Sauces
Servings: 4 Servings
Author: Creative Culinary

Ingredients

For the Almonds

  • 3 Tbsp Sugar
  • ½ cup Almonds sliced

For the Dressing

  • 6 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Whole Grain Mustard
  • 2 Tbsp Honey
  • 1 Tbsp Cider Vinegar
  • Juice of 1 Orange
  • Juice of 1/2 Lemon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

For the Salad

  • 6-8 cups Romaine lettuce
  • ¼ cup Dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup Green onion sliced thin
  • 1 Avocado sliced
  • 1 Orange in segments

Instructions

  • For the Almond Crunch
  • Heat the sugar and almonds in a medium skillet over medium high heat until the sugar starts to melt.
  • Mix well, watching until the sugar starts to brown and coats the nuts.
  • Remove from heat and pour the nuts onto a piece of foil to cool completely; breaking up as needed
  • For the Dressing
  • Put everything into a food processor or blender and mix until will blended.
  • Taste and adjust salt and pepper to your taste if necessary.
  • To Make the Salad
  • Cut the Romaine lettuce into uniform pieces and combine in a bowl with the candied almonds, dried cranberries and green onion.
  • Mound on plates and top with sliced avocado and orange segments.
  • Top with the Orange Honey Mustard Dressing.

Nutrition

Serving: 1grams

 

 

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31 Comments

  1. I have to admit the thought of avocado, dried cranberry and orange slices at first read was a little off to me … But dare I say this salad was AMAZING …

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. And you know what? I have so many recipes on this blog that sometimes I forget ones that I loved and this is one of those. Avocado on my shopping list now, I have to make it this week… thanks!

  2. Hi C C,
    MADE YOUR AVOCADO ORANGE SALAD TODAY.
    IT WAS FANTASTIC! I made a few changes.
    I made the dressing with Dijon mustard instead of whole grain because I didn’t have any. It’s a delicious dressing and is a KEEPER for sure.
    I also added lentil pasta to make it a meal salad.
    Thank you for sharing. I’m a hooked follower…..

  3. This salad is really delicious! My husband loved it, including the dressing – which is unheard of, in our house. The crunchy almond are wonderful. I served it with BBQ chicken. I will definitely make it again!

    1. So good to hear Susan and wow…passed hubby’s muster? Even better. I made it for this salad but love having it for others too; anything with orange or lemon works so well. Thanks for letting me know!

  4. I do remember the little bottle of oil and vinegar. And it was back in the day when the oil tasted like NOTHING and was pretty awful. Now the olive oils you can find in the grocery store are so much better, so there’s really no excuse not to make your own dressing.

  5. Gosh I was exactly the same! I loved Ranch and Thousand Island dressings, although Catalina was my favorite growing up! Now I wont touch a creamy dressing and only have oil and vinegar or sometimes lemon, funny how we change. Love your salad!

    1. I used to eat Thousand Island on burgers even…but now haven’t had a bottle in years. Our tastes refine and we mature I guess and boy does it show in our dressings! 🙂

  6. O that is so true! When I still lived at my parents house they always had those bottled dressings and olive oil? I didn’t know it back then.
    These days I make all my dressings from scratch and I love it. The base is always a good olive oil and some sort of vinegar but to that I add all sorts of things…:)

    1. I think the change from bottled to fresh seems much more difficult than it is; once done and we see how easy it is? No turning back right?

  7. Such a vibrant and enticing dish, Barbara! I have shared this on a couple of Pinterest boards. I used to make all kinds of salad dressings, as my then husband was very fond of things vinegary and mustardy. But Peter cannot bear them so for the most part these days I use only the best EVOO and fresh lemon juice.

  8. Ya, I like salads almost anyway I can get them! This one looks really good too. Love the Orange with avocado flavor combo.

  9. I love salads and will enjoy them with both creamy and oil based dressings (not at the same time of course!) I have to say that your homemade salad dressing looks amazing and a recipe that I will definitely try. Have a feeling that I may just get hooked on it though!

    P.S. Also love my old salad spinner!

  10. I am in complete agreement with you about salad dressings. I used to adore the creamy dressings and there was no way I would touch a salad if it had Italian dressing on it. Now olive oil and balsamic is our daily dressing. 🙂 And you’re right about change. It’s super hard. With salads like these, it can be so fun! I’m going to give this salad a try.

    1. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did Dionne. I find that one thing I’m really liking is the use of more fruit in my salads; I can get better oranges and avocados than I can tomatoes so that’s certainly been an impetus!

  11. What a salad! No joke, my mouth is watering right now. I had to smile when you talked about the little bottles of oil and vinegar on restaurant tables as I remember that so well. Do you also remember the little three-cupped server they used to bring out with the creamy dressings? One held thousand island, one “french,” and one…lord only knows what! I’m quite sure it was passed from table to table throughout the restaurant and refilled only when needed. What health inspection?!?

    I most often make my dressing in the bottom of the salad bowl before adding the greens followed by anything else I’m including on top. I can leave it that way and then toss at the last minute. I’m totally spoiled with making my own dressings and rarely find a bottled one that I enjoy any more. Needless to say I’m trying yours next 🙂

    1. I do! If we wrote a book on acceptable practices from not THAT many years ago, including child rearing, people would wonder how we or our children survived. 🙂

  12. I have been tossing salad with oil and vinegar – from the early days of vegetable oil and red wine vinegar to later, more enlightened days with olive oil and balsamic though we do toss in a dash of cider, raspberry or red wine vinegar along with the balsamic once in a while. We will add mustard occasionally but not always. But whoa I love mustard honey vinaigrette and I’m glad you reminded me and gave me a recipe. I love tossed salads like this and now that spring and summer are here we will be eating meals like this often. Fabulous recipe. And wow fabulous OXO rotary cutter!

    1. I love the rotary cutter and I’ve VERY judicious about tools because I don’t want to just store a bunch of stuff I’ll never use. Now that I think of it; betting those ‘early days’ of seeing those tableside setups were just veggie oil, not even olive oil. I love to grill something small and I’ll most often just add it to the salad; and now I’m hungry. 🙂

  13. I love a simple oil and vinegar dressing! But I do toss it — first the lettuce in oil to nicely coat all the leaves (if you do a good tossing, you can get by with about a tablespoon of olive oil for a big bowl of salad greens; but you do need to spend a bit of time tossing). Then add the vinegar and salt and pepper, and toss again. That said, I love making any kind of salad dressing. This one, for example, looks terrific. Thanks!

    1. I might try that but sounds like SO much more work than my lazy habit John. 🙂 I mean I love this dressing; why I never thought before to substitute the mayo in a honey mustard dressing for olive oil is beyond me.

  14. Looks good Barb! You mean now I have to get my salad spinner out of the garage? I can attest to the goodness of avocados and oranges. Love the cranberry thrown in. And olive oil? So many different ones to try, but I always enjoy the quest.

    1. I did comment on how well this one works; I think my old one had a handled I had to crank around and around; the push button is nicer! I love making dressings; I eat a lot of salads and am going to start putting more on the blog; often they are just a quick pulling together of ingredients in the fridge so I need to remember the photo!

  15. Honey mustard is my favorite dressing. I always have a bottle of Newman’s Own Honey Mustard…but I guess it is time I take your advice and try to make it on my own! Will let you know how it goes.

    1. It is so easy Holly and SO much better than anything you can buy prepared at the store. Now…easier for me to say since I don’t have any little ones around like you do!

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