Cooking with Carmelo Sigona: Simple, Healthy, Delicious…Avocado

Cooking with Carmelo: Simple, Healthy, Delicious…Avocado

California avocados are a wonderful ingredient; their creamy richness provides a cooling antidote to chili or salsa and adds richness to salads and shellfish, as we’ve learned from the innovative sushi chefs who discovered the combination more than 30 years ago.

 

Simply Served:

  • 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 healthy energy source.

Avocado Milkshake

Our friends at House of Annie have a great recipe for an Avocado Milkshake. Check it out! Let us know if you have any other recipes or additions if you give it a try. Thanks, House of Annie, for sharing this recipe with Sigona’s readers!


Sigona’s Guacamole

Some like it hot, some do not! Add as much chili pepper as you wish. Remember, the white veins and seeds are what pack a punch, so scrape them out to lower the heat.

Ingredients:

  • 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 chilies (or jalapenos), finely chopped (seeds removed or left depending on how hot you like your guac.)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 TBL fresh squeezed lime juice
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Directions: Mix onions, serrano chilies, 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 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 (or you can use brown rice pasta, which we sell)
  • ¼ of a yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 pint halved cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 avocado diced
  • 1 TBL 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.

 

California Avocado Ceviche

This recipe, adapted from the California Avocado Commission’s website, is a favorite among two avocado growers from Southern California. The combination of rich & creamy avocados with other fresh, California grown produce is irresistible! Note that part of the prep requires that the mix be refrigerated for at least 8 hours.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ lb. fish fillets, scallops or other shellfish cleaned, diced
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 2 canned green chilies, diced into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 TBL cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup Sigona’s Fresh Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 white or red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 3-4 large (about 8 oz. ea.) California Hass avocados, peeled and cubed
  • ½ tsp. basil
  • 2 cups lime juice

Directions: Place fish in large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine oil, wine, oregano, basil and lime juice; pour over fish. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours.

About 4 hours before serving, add tomatoes chilies, cilantro, garlic and onion. Return to refrigerator.

Just before serving, add avocado cubes, lift ceviche from marinade with slotted spoon and transfer to a serving dish. Serve immediately with tortilla chips or over cooked brown rice (about 3 cups cooked). Serves 4.

Chilled Avocado & Crab Soup

Crab and avocado is a fantastic combination – just ask any sushi lover! This recipe takes the pair to the next level by blending them together into a classic, chilled soup.

Ingredients:

  • 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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