Agave Vinaigrette

I have been doing a lot of baking lately. This is unfortunate, because I like to lick the beaters, and this is swimsuit season. As a result, I am trying to eat more veggies and less sugar.

Enter Agave.

Agave nectar is a sweetener and sugar substitute. It is 1-1/2 times sweeter than cane sugar or honey, but it has a much lower glycemic index, which means it’s absorbed more slowly into the bloodstream. This prevents it from raising blood sugar levels significantly, eliminating the highs and lows associated with sugar intake. For this reason, it’s favored among those with diabetes and hyperglycemia … and those of us that just need to get work done, and can’t afford to crash.

Agave nectar can be used anywhere sugar or honey goes: barbeque sauces, marinades, baked goods, etc. It adds a distinctive sweet flavor, reminiscent tequila. I have been seeing quite a lot of Agave Nectar in stores lately. It is currently prominently displayed at Trader Joes and Whole Foods. I have taken this as a sign from the culinary gods that I should not only use it, but share the goodness that is agave. The result is this dressing, which is great on greens as well as fish and veggies on the grill.


3 TB. agave nectar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
Zest and juice of 1 Mexican lime
2 TB. fresh cilantro, minced
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
1 cup olive oil
6 cups loosely packed fresh salad greens (baby mixed greens, spinach, halved cherry tomatoes, and diced avocado)
1 cup fried flour or corn tortilla strips
1/2 cup crumbled cotija cheese


  1. Whisk together agave nectar, garlic, sea salt, pepper, lime zest and juice, cilantro, vinegar, and olive oil in a large bowl, or combine in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake.
  2. Pour vinaigrette over salad greens, toss, and top with tortilla strips and crumbled cotija.


Print this recipe