I can never turn down a recipe that calls for avocado — especially one that uses a tangy dressing that can brighten the mild flavors of avocado and spinach. This salad comes together quickly, which is yet another reason to love it. This simple salad recipe is adapted from the cookbook "In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite" by Melissa Clark. Because it's so simple, you can customize it. I'm not a fan of raw garlic so I left it out of the dressing, but I don't think it suffered — the dressing was still wonderfully zippy. You can add chopped sundried tomatoes and sunflower seeds, or maybe some capers and mix in some watercress. This recipe is wonderful as is or as a "starter" salad that you can build on to make a filling lunch. Either way, you're getting spinach and avocado, which are two wonderfully nutritious superfoods!

Two servings of spinach and avocado salad with garlic mustard dressing

The ingredients for the spinach and avocado salad with garlic mustard vinaigrette

Prep time: 15 minutes 

Total time: 15 minutes 

Yields: 4 servings

Spinach and Avocado Salad with Garlic Mustard Vinaigrette


  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard (Dijon or honey mustard are both great options)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 cups loosely packed spinach leaves
  • 1 Hass avocado, cubed
The garlic mustard vinaigrette

Cooking directions

  1. Using a garlic press, press the cloves and add them to a small bowl. Whisk in the lemon juice, mustard, and a pinch of salt. Continue to whisk until the salt is dissolved, then whisk in the oil until the dressing is emulsified.
  2. Place the spinach leaves in a large bowl and add the dressing, tossing to coat all the leaves. Add the cubed avocado and gently toss. Finally, season with a little more salt or lemon juice to taste.
  3. Serve in a bowl or, to add a rustic picnic flare to the meal, use mason jars. And a mason jar is the perfect way to carry this salad with you to work for lunch! Enjoy!

Jaymi Heimbuch ( @jaymiheimbuch ) focuses on wildlife conservation and animal news from her home base in San Francisco.

Spinach and Avocado Salad with Garlic Mustard Vinaigrette
A nice, straightforward salad with a refreshing taste that is quick and easy to prepare.