Avocados: Simple, Healthy, Delicious

Avocados: Simple, Healthy, Delicious

Avocados are a wonderful ingredient; their creamy richness provides a cooling antidote to chili or salsa and adds richness to salads and shellfish. Crab which is now in season locally after a long delay goes especially well with avocado as innovative sushi chefs discovered over thirty years ago.

Try ‘em like this:

  • Mashed and spread on a piece of toasted whole wheat bread. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top and sprinkle with salt and pepper
  • Just after plating, slice a few sliced into a soup or stew. They’re great in tortilla soup, minestrone or even tomato soup
  • Mix in finely diced red onion, lime juice and salt and pepper with mashed avocado and use as a dip for sliced turnips, beets, carrots, jicima or other dipping veggies. This is an extremely health and great energy source.

Sigona’s Guacamole

  • 4 large ripe avocados, removed from skin and coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup finely diced white onion
  • 1/3 cup finely diced red onion
  • 2-4 Serrano chiles (or jalapenos), finely chopped (seeds removed or left depending on how hot you like your guac.)
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds (optional)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 TBL fresh squeezed lime juice
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Mix onions, serrano chiles, garlic and salt in a medium-sized glass bowl. Add the avocados and gently stir. Pour in the lime juice and toss. Gently stir in in 1/4 cup of the pomegranate seeds if desired. Season with some black pepper to taste and that’s it! Yep – it’s that easy. Serve with chips, veggies or spread on a sandwich!

Whole Wheat Pasta with Avocado, Cherry Tomatoes and Basil

You can assemble this dish in the time it takes to boil water, it is easy, healthy, and deceptively delicious. It is good anytime of year when good avocados are available, the addition of basil makes it even better. Serves 4.

  • 1 lb. whole wheat or brown rice spaghetti
  • ¼ (.25) chopped yellow onion
  • 1 pint halved cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 avocado diced
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 sprigs of basil (8-10 leaves) sliced
  • Black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add the spaghetti and cook according to the directions. Meanwhile toss the rest of the ingredients together and let marinate. When the spaghetti is al dente drain quickly reserving a little of the pasta cooking water and toss the hot pasta with the rest. Add a tablespoon or two of the pasta water if the sauce seems a little dry. Add plenty of black pepper.

Chilled Avocado & Crab Soup

  • 2 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 jalapeno chili, seeded and minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 ripe med-large size California avocados
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 4 TBL fresh lemon juice plus 1 TBL
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2-3 teaspoons lemon zest
  • Optional: 1 cup cooked corn (fresh is best, but in the off-season, frozen will work well)
  • 1/2 pound Dungeness crab meat (you may substitute cooked shrimp or canned crab if you like)
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
  • salt & black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Sauté onion and jalapeno over medium heat till tender, about 12-15 minutes. Add garlic and sauté briefly, about two minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Place chopped avocados in blender with chicken broth, 4 TBL of the lemon juice, and sauté mix. Puree till smooth.
  3. Transfer to a large bowl; stir in water and lemon zest. Add water if desired to achieve your preferred thickness. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate, covered, for 3 hours.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the crab, cucumber, and the remaining tablespoon of the lemon juice. Salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate, covered 1-3 hours.
  5. Ladle soup into bowls; top with shrimp mixture. Garnish with 2-3 chive stems.

Cook’s notes: Lovely with corn bread and a simple salad of citrus, walnuts, and Boston lettuce – and if you want to garnish it with a few wedges of avocado, so much the better!

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