Arugula Avocado Salad with Date and Walnut Vinaigrette

queso frescochile de arbolvinaigrette

Arugula Avocado Salad with Date and Walnut Vinaigrette

Arugula Avocado Salad with Date and Walnut Vinaigrette

Ensalada de Arugula y Aguacate con Vinagreta de Dátil y Nuez de Castilla

Recipe Yield

4 to 5 Servings

Cooking time

20 minutes

Rate this recipe

4.80 from 5 votes


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 6 unpeeled garlic cloves
  • 2 to 3 chiles de arbol stemmed
  • 1 copious spoonful fresh oregano leaves or from 2 to 3 sprigs of oregano
  • 1/3 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 4 to 6 medjool dates pitted and finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup walnuts
  • 5 to 6 ounces baby arugula
  • 1 to 2 ripe avocados halved, pitted, diced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco

To Prepare

  • Heat the olive oil and vegetable oil in a small saucepan set over low heat, add the unpeeled garlic cloves and chiles de arbol and let them cook for 8 to 10 minutes. The oils should be gently bubbling. Remove from heat and add in the fresh oregano leaves. Set aside to cool slightly.
  • With a slotted spoon, remove the garlic cloves from the oil and, when cool enough to handle, peel off their skin. Place them into the jar of a blender along with the oils, chiles de arbol, oregano leaves, vinegar, mustard and salt. Puree until completely smooth. Scrape into a bowl and set the vinaigrette aside.
  • Place a saute pan over medium-low heat. Once hot, add the walnuts and toast for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring as they begin to lightly brown. Remove from the heat, let cool and chop.
  • Incorporate the chopped walnuts and dates into the vinaigrette, toss and let sit. You can make the vinaigrette 12 hours ahead of time. Stir before using.
  • In a salad bowl, toss the arugula with the vinaigrette. Top with avocado chunks and queso fresco. Serve.


30comments inArugula Avocado Salad with Date and Walnut Vinaigrette

  1. Lynda

    Apr 25

    I saw Pati make this salad on her show a few years ago. We love all the ingredients and had to try it. It is complex and delicious. Soooo goooood!

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 01

      This one is a favorite of mine as well, so glad you guys like it!

  2. Cindy

    Dec 18

    I am making this for Christmas Eve. I cannot find fresh chili de Arbil but I do have dried. Could I reconstitute those and use them for the dressing?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 26

      This may be late but yes, in fact chiles de arbol are dried 🙂

  3. Rebeca

    Nov 30

    Hi patty a big fan here …I have a question what would be a good substitute for the cherry vinegar ?? I have balsamic vinegar could I use that instead?? I can’t wait to make it

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 28

      You can always use apple cider or champagne vinegar Rebeca, enjoy!

  4. Rajeev T

    Nov 28

    Super good salad! Loved the addition of chiles de arbol and how it affects the flavor! I couldn’t find cherry vinegar so I had get creative with balsamic vinegar and apple cider vinegar! Still it was so delicious! Thank you Pati!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 28

      Awesome subs, great job Rajeev!

  5. Dolores Loera

    Feb 28

    The vinaigrette is very tasty. Should it be super chunky? The bulk to oil ratio doesn’t seem right. I did substitute pecans for walnuts.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Mar 07

      Actually the vinaigrette should be pretty smooth Dolores, remember besides the oils you are adding vinegar and mustard as well. Good luck 😉

  6. Gloria Vizzacchero

    Feb 25

    This salad is amazing!! It has become one of my favourite.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Mar 07

      Yay! So glad to read this, gracias Gloria 🙂

  7. Sandra

    Dec 09

    Looking forward to making this salad dressing. Is the fresh oregano Mexican oregano or Italian oregano?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 11

      If I have Mexican on hand I use it, but if not regular Italian works pretty well Sandra 🙂

  8. Lynda

    Dec 04

    I saw Pati make this salad on our PBS channel last year. I knew we had to try it. It is unique and delicious, we have enjoyed it many times. Thank you for sharing your kitchen and cooking with us!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 06

      Thanks to your for tuning in Lynda, love to read you liked this salad 😉

  9. JJO

    Jun 24

    Great salad! I believe I used guallijo chilis because that’s what I had on hand. I also added on chicken and voila; dinner. The date, walnut, chili and garlic combination in the dressing is excellent.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jul 08

      I’m glad you made the salad your own, JJO!

  10. Irene Ruiz

    May 21

    Gonna try this on my family this weekend your boys remind me of my grandson loves to eat and will try anything twice!

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 22

      I hope your grandson loves the salad, Irene.

  11. Myrna

    May 18

    looks delicious Just with the ingredient you used.. Thank you

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 20

      Hope you love the salad, Myrna.

  12. Leila H.

    Mar 31

    My favorite part about this salad is the way the dressing comes together! I make salad dressing all the time, but I rarely heat my ingredients and have never ever used chile de arbol in the vinaigrette. Blending the ingredients emulsified everything so nicely. I served it at a family BBQ and even people who don’t usually eat salad served themselves twice!
    Thank you Pati for another delicious recipe.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Apr 13

      Loved to hear this, Leila! Thank you.

      1. Maryann

        Jun 13

        Hi Pati,
        I shall be trying this salad n the Mango tart n will let u know how my family react to this tasty looking dinner n Thanks for sharing.


        1. Pati Jinich

          Jun 21

          Thank you Maryann, yes, please let me know if the family approved 😉

  13. John H

    Nov 01

    This salad was beyond delicious. My dinner guests couldn’t stop raving about it. I can’t wait to make more of your recipes Pati. Thank you.

    1. Pati

      Nov 01

      So happy to hear that, John! And I’m glad your dinner went well.

  14. Alicia

    Oct 28

    Wow. That salad looks amazing Pati! Thank you much for sharing. Btw …. I love your show – keep up the great work!!

    Bests !😊

    1. Pati

      Oct 29

      Thank you so much, Alicia!

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