Arugula Cannellini and Feta Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

in Appetizers, Salads

Arugula Cannellini Salad with Avocado Dressing // www.acozykitchen.com

This is another installment of Adrianna Loves Butter But Is Eating Healthy-ish. Spring produce motivates me to eat greener, brighter things.

On Monday a pound of arugula (a pound!! that’s a ton of arugula) was dropped on my doorstep and I immediately went into brainstorming mode as to what to do with it. I have pesto and soup and a few other things planned for that arugula, but first, a salad!

Since we’re not exactly in full on Spring-mode yet, I wanted a salad that felt comforting. Something that you’d still want to have on a cold-ish day. There are a bit of beans that help with that, some feta for its wonderful saltiness, some mint and Italian parsley for flavor and the usual suspects of zested garlic and diced shallot.

Arugula Cannellini Salad with Avocado Dressing // www.acozykitchen.com

This salad isn’t chock-full of unexpected ingredients or combinations that are unusual or particularly interesting. It’s just a good tasting salad.

The internet LOVES weird combos and cheese oozing out of the sides of things. And that’s ok, I do too. But sometimes, I like simple and familiar. This is a friendly salad.

The dressing might be my favorite part. Eating healthier has been a lot of me having to re-teach myself how to cook. I can’t do the things I did in the past (read: put butter in everything). A little cleverness goes a long way.

Arugula Cannellini Salad with Avocado Dressing // www.acozykitchen.com

I’m particularly fascinated with healthy fats. And how to use them to our advantage, so they result in foods that are full of flavor and have great texture. (In the past I’d normally just add crème fraîche to dressings for added texture.)

In this case, the dressing is a celebration of two healthy fats coming together: olive oil and half of an avocado. They’re emulsified together (think of it almost like a healthy aioli) until a thick (not too thick) and creamy dressing comes together.

I tossed everything together and salad-magic proceeded. I had a big plate of this for lunch and thought to myself, this healthy and familiar is kinda the ticket.

Arugula Cannellini Salad with Avocado Dressing // www.acozykitchen.com

Arugula Cannellini Salad with Avocado Dressing // www.acozykitchen.com

Arugula Cannellini and Feta Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

Print this recipe!

Salad:
3 cups arugula
1 (15-ounce) can of Cannelleni beans
3 tablespoons minced mint (about 5 leaves)
Small handful of Italian parsley (about 1/4 cup), roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, zested into the salad (using a Microplane is a good idea)
1 small shallot, minced
1/4 cup cubed feta (about 2 ounces)

Avocado Dressing:
1/2 large avocado (or one small avocado)
Salt
Pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice from 1 to 2 lemons, divided (and depending on taste)

1. In a medium bowl, toss all of the salad ingredients together, minus the feta (it’ll make a bit of a mess).

2. To a blender, add the avocado half, juice from 1 lemon and pinch of salt and pepper. Pulse a few times, until the avocado is broken up. With the blender going, pour in the olive oil until the mixture begins to thicken and become smooth. Add a few tablespoons (I ended up needing about 4 tablespoons) of warm water to help with the smooth texture. I let the blender run for about 1 minute to achieve the super smooth texture. If you’re ok with tartness (I think this salad needs it because of the beans) squeeze in the remaining lemon juice and adjust salt and pepper to taste. It may seem too tart right now, but I can assure you that when you toss it with the salad ingredients, it’ll be all good.

3. Add about half of the dressing and lightly toss the salad using your hands or a pair of tongs. Keep adding a bit of dressing as needed

4. Transfer to a serving plate, if you like, and top with the cubes of feta.

Serves 4 (as a salad appetizer)

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Averie @ Averie Cooks March 20, 2014 at 12:55 am

I am in love with this dressing. And that pour shot!! NICE! pinned

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Tamara March 20, 2014 at 2:31 am

Beautiful photos and a delicious looking salad. I always keep cans of Cannelloni, butter beans and chick peas on tap as they’re the perfect additions in salads like this. I’ll be trying the avo dressing :-)

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Toyota March 20, 2014 at 3:20 am

I really hate arugula or rocket as we call it in the UK but I really wish I didn’t. It’s just one of those food substances like blueberries or fennel that I just can’t get myself to eat

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Belinda@themoonblushbaker March 20, 2014 at 4:18 am

I love anything creamy especially with inedible bitter leaves. So pretty!

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Alicia March 20, 2014 at 4:42 am

This is so pretty! I could honestly eat this on a regular basis, for sure – many of my fave ingredients in here :)

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Rachel March 20, 2014 at 7:07 am

This looks amazing!

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Jen of My Tiny Oven March 20, 2014 at 8:20 am

You had me at Feta!! What a perfect spring salad!

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Liz @ Tip Top Shape March 20, 2014 at 9:12 am

This salad really epitomizes everything I love about good, healthy food! It’s simple, fresh, and I bet delicious!! I will definitely be making this!

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Christina @ but i'm hungry March 20, 2014 at 9:52 am

It’s like you knew all of my favorite things and put them together into the perfect salad for me! ;) I haven’t seen much arugula around here yet… but I have everything else already in my kitchen, so I’ll be ready to make this as SOON as I find some. Thanks for sharing! Just beautiful!

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Sabrina - A Spoonful of Photography March 20, 2014 at 10:53 am

Awesome photos! This salad looks totally perfect for the few current in-between-seasons-not-yet-summer-but-neither-winter-anymore days ;) And wow on a pound of arugula! I wouldn’t now how to use it all up, but that might be because I’m not the biggest fan… :)

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Evelyn March 20, 2014 at 10:59 am

Arugula, feta, avocado = a happy belly!

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Abby March 20, 2014 at 11:05 am

This looks so good! I love arugula, feta, cannellini beans.. Ok I love everything you put in this salad! Can’t wait to try it soon!
Abby

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Todd | HonestlyYUM March 20, 2014 at 11:21 am

perfect in every way…wow

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Eileen March 20, 2014 at 11:26 am

There’s nothing wrong with liking butter! That said, AVOCADO. :) This looks like the perfect salad for an amazing springy lunch. Yay!

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cheri March 20, 2014 at 1:26 pm

Love your presentation on this salad with the chick peas and feta around the base of the salad.

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Fashionruelle March 20, 2014 at 3:43 pm

I’ve just found your blog! Love every single recipe.

Love

Fashionruelle.com

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Sami @ My Second Breakfast March 20, 2014 at 3:55 pm

Totally ignoring your ‘healthy-ish’ intentions, I wonder how the avocado dressing would taste on pasta?

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Reesa March 20, 2014 at 4:44 pm

Yum! This salad look phenomenal! Not just the same usual suspects thrown together in a bowl. And I can easily find all these ingredients in Argentina which never happens!

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dishing up the dirt March 20, 2014 at 9:25 pm

I love avocado dressing! This dish sounds absolutley lovely.

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Michelle March 21, 2014 at 8:52 am

The thought of something green (and really, green on green) sounds so dang good right now. So comforting and yet bright and fresh. You almost don’t miss the butter…almost.

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Francesca March 22, 2014 at 7:32 am

That. dressing.

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Rebecca March 22, 2014 at 4:37 pm

I love this salad, have pinned it! I am especially interested in this dressing!!!
Thanks ;) Rebecca
Icing-sugar.net

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Aqiyl Aniys March 23, 2014 at 6:07 pm

I love the avocado dressing, I looks so delicious!

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Petronella April 4, 2014 at 11:56 am

Healthily delicious, on a fast today but will try some of the dishes. How did I get here?

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