Willamette Valley Salad

If you live anywhere near the Willamette Valley in Oregon, you’ve likely tried a variation of this salad. They serve one at the Elephant’s Deli in Portland that I love, but this one my friend Liz makes is my absolute favorite. It’s delicious paired with grilled salmon (I like carmelized onions with mine because they taste delish with the salad) or steak, and works great for a potluck! The hazelnuts make it really special, so take the time to roast them and include them if you can. I’ve added thinly sliced pears and they were a hit.  Enjoy!

For the salad:

  • 2 heads of romaine lettuce cut into bite-sized into pieces
  • 2 avocados peeled and sliced
  • 1/3 lb. blue cheese
  • 1 C hazelnuts toasted and chopped

For the dressing:

  • 1/3 C red wine vinegar
  • 2/3 C olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Combine dressing ingredients together.
  • Put greens in a bowl.
  • Toss lightly with dressing (you probably won’t use it all – I never do)
  • Add avocados, blue cheese and hazelnuts on top


*To toast the hazelnuts, arrange them in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Heat oven to 350 and toast for 5-10 minutes. Shake the pan occasionally to make sure they don’t burn and are evenly toasted. Allow to cool and chop.



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