This is an interesting salad dressing, in that if you use enough tomato, you don’t need any oil, because the addition of avocado gives it a velvety texture without the need of oil as an emulsifier.   Grilling the tomato adds some great dark undertones to balance the bright acidity of the tomato juice.


A couple of handfuls of grape or cherry tomatoes or one medium large tomato

Half of an avocado, cut into small chunks

The juice of one lemon

1 garlic clove, minced or pressed

DSC_0065Grill the tomatoes over high heat, turning occasionally, until you’ve got some nice charred splotches and the tomatoes are softening.  The advantage of using small tomatoes is that you have more surface area next to the grill, and therefore more of that grilled flavor in the dressing.

Once the tomatoes are done, throw them into the blender, along with the lemon juice, garlic, and avocado.  Add a liberal amount of salt and freshly ground pepper, close the lid, and hit puree.  If the tomatoes have provided enough juice, the consistency should be similar to ranch dressing.  If there’s not enough liquid, add some olive oil, a little at a time, until you’ve got the right consistency.  DSC_0067

The last time I made this, we had some roasted Hatch chilis from the grocery store, since they are currently in season, so I threw one in, and it provided more toasty overtones along with a deep, green heat.  I also had cilantro on hand, and that went into the mix.  This time, I found that I needed some more liquid, and so I added some of the pickling juice from a bottle of green peppercorns, and its briny, peppery flavor went well with the grilled smokiness of the tomatoes.