Balsamic Orange Avocado Oil Vinaigrette
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NOTE: Chosen Foods has graciously offered to provide a 500 mL bottle of their avocado oil to one lucky reader. For a chance to win, simply comment below before 6:00 pm EDT on Wednesday, October 2, 2013. The lucky winner will have 48 hours to respond with a complete mailing address. Good luck!
You know how people say that you shouldn’t cook with a wine you wouldn’t want to drink? I have decided the same should hold true for cooking oils!
Since I write about food and develop recipes on a daily basis, if I realize there is a mainstream or up-and-coming food I have not tried, I make a point of fixing that. A while back, I entered the world of millet and was pleasantly surprised. More recently, as I learned about the health and cooking benefits of avocado oil, I began experimenting with it as well.
The brand of avocado oil I have come to love, and which my husband claims he can taste in the recipes I make–in a good way!–is Chosen Foods. If you pour a little bit on a spoon and taste it, it is delicious. For those who may not be fond of avocados in general, the oil does not carry the same flavor. Importantly, the growing and cold pressing processes create an oil that is entirely pure and high in antioxidants with heat stable fatty acids. (See the helpful cooking chart below.)
If you try avocado oil, use it wherever you would olive oil or vegetable oil. It may be used in baking as well as stovetop cooking, offering excellent moisture and flavor.
Basic vinaigrettes allow the full-bodied avocado oil to truly shine. The following recipe is one that I look forward to every fall, when freshly picked beets are plentiful at our local farmers markets. One of my favorite salads (click here for the recipe) pairs roasted beets with a simple yet sublime combination of nuts, cheese, and greens. Tossed with the following dressing, this salad becomes a hearty, healthy, satisfying meal.
This dressing has a thick, luscious texture that belies its simplicity. Avocado oil is a flavorful substitution to the more frequently used olive oil and is a perfect match to the flavor of orange.
We enjoy the vinaigrette on a variety of salads incorporating beets, yet this particular citrus flavor pairs equally well with orange vegetables like butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and carrots.
- 1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate
- 1/2 cup Chosen Foods avocado oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey (see notes)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and a few grinds of the pepper mill
- Allow the orange juice concentrate to sit on the counter long enough that you can scoop out the desired amount. It does not have to be completely thawed.
- Whisk together the avocado oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, salt and pepper in a small bowl or jar. Add the orange juice concentrate and whisk until throughly combined and emulsified. If using a jar, you may screw the lid on tightly and shake well.
- Store in the refrigerator. Dressing will keep for a week or more.
I have also made a stripped-down version of this vinaigrette, using only the first three ingredients. While that version is delicious, too, and you may wish to try it, the honey and seasonings round out the flavors nicely.
You can refreeze the orange juice concentrate for later use. I have made this recipe with regular orange juice and, while tasty, the concentrate creates a thicker, more flavorful dressing that emulsifies beautifully.
Smoke Points of Common Cooking Oils
- Chosen Foods Avocado Oil – 500° F
- Canola Oil – 435° F
- Virgin Avocado Oil – 400° F
- Virgin Olive Oil – 375° F
- Virgin Coconut Oil – 350° F
Avocado oil can safely be used to sear, BBQ, stir-fry, deep-fry, roast or bake. And because of its mild, nutty flavor its the perfect oil for salad dressing and sauce, too.
If you are interested in additional information on avocado oil, click on this link to Chosen Foods, the brand I use regularly. If interested in trying, the oil is widely available at Costco and may also be purchased through the above link.