Arugula Avocado Salad with Date and Walnut Vinaigrette
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- 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
- 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.