Avocados are a wonderful ingredient; their creamy richness provides a cooling antidote to chili or salsa and adds richness to salads and shellfish. Crab goes especially well with avocado as innovative sushi chefs discovered over thirty years ago.
California avocados are practically a staple for many homes in our state due to abundance, near year-round availability and versatility, but more and more due to their health benefits.
Though they’re high in calories, avocados can help you avoid weight gain by using them in place of another high-fat or -salt condiments like cheese or mayonnaise. Most people prefer the California avocado over its Florida counterpart, and the reason is plain: taste and creaminess. The Florida avocado has only half the fat content as the California avocado, so it’s not nearly as rich or creamy.
Californians are lucky to have great avocados available nearly nine months out of the year. For the three months of the year when Californian avocados aren’t available, Chilean avocados are an acceptable substitute. Although they can be quite good, transportation logistics sometimes work against them, interfering with flavor, texture and color…perhaps we’re a bit biased, but nothing beats a California grown avocado!
Sigona’s Super Simple Guacamole
Guacamole goes on anything from tacos to salmon burgers, but we probably all like it best as a dip for crudités, such as veggies or little gem lettuces, and, of course, chips. Whip yourself up a batch of this super simple guacamole any ol’ night of the week. Serves about 4 to 6 as a dip.
Southwestern-Style Avocado Toast with A Fried Egg and Roasted Green Chile
Simply perfect for breakfast or dinner. Roasting chiles can sound intimidating, but it doesn’t take much time or effort (or you can easily use a canned chile). You can use regular sliced bread or kick it up a notch by using French bread or even ciabatta for your toast. Serves 1.
Grapefruit and Avocado Salad with a Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
Simple, healthy and delicious! This is lovely as a side to white meats or as a brunch feature. A great way to start the New Year! You’ll likely have vinaigrette remaining, so save it to toss with a green salad topped with grilled chicken or steak, avocado and grapefruit. Inspired by Ina Garten. Serves 4 to 6.
Fresh Fruit Salad with a Honey & Poppy Seed Dressing on a Bibb Lettuce Bed
If you’re looking for a salad everyone will love for Easter, look no further. This is a simple, healthy and delicious fruit salad with a fantastic honey dressing; a combination worthy of resting upon its very own bed of lettuce. These will look elegant on salad plates at your Easter tablescape. Inspired by Food Network. Serves 4.
Grapefruit & Greens Salad with Avocado, Pistachios and a Grapefruit Vinaigrette
This is a cheerful salad for winter. The a tangy pink grapefruit awakens the palate while the dried cranberries and pistachios add more layers of flavor, interest and delight to the dish. Leave off the cheese if you wish. Adapted from The Olive Oil and Vinegar Lover’s Handbook. Serves 4.
Baked Eggs in Avocado Cups with a Quick, Fresh Tomato Salsa
If you get any foodie magazines or spend any time on Pinterest, it’s likely you’ve recently seen many an egg baked in an avocado. Well, we decided to take a crack at it (pun intended) ourselves, and added a quick salsa for a fresh factor. You’ll love this easy, hearty egg dish; it’s perfect for breakfast or brunch. If you don’t care for the salsa, simply top the baked eggs with chopped chives. Serves 2 to 4.
Crisp Asian Pear, Daikon and Avocado Salad with Sigona’s Sicilian Lemon Vinaigrette
This dish, inspired by a Vegas-favorite of one of our staff, is light, crunchy and a great, unique way to use Asian pears that’s different than a typical salad of greens. Our Sicilian lemon white balsamic adds a fantastic flavor that will knock your socks off. Serves 2.
Lox & Caper Topped Avocado Toast with Lemon-Dill Crème Fraîche
Salmon lox and cream cheese is a classic bagel topper, but if you want to take a healthier approach, leave off the cream cheese and top your toast (or bagel) with avocado instead. This will give you a double whammy of healthy fats, thanks to the salmon and avocado, not to mention the olive oil. For a truly dairy-free toast, just sprinkle on some dill, leaving off the crème. Serves 1.
Watermelon, Avocado & Cucumber Salad with Chili-Lime Walnut Oil
The crisp and sweet watermelon paired with refreshing cucumber and creamy avocado makes for a lovely lunch on late summer’s day. The lime and chili powder add extra layers of enjoyment for the palate, and the walnut oil adds depth of flavor. Serves 1 or 2.
Millet Bowl with Navel Oranges, Avocado, Red Cabbage, Pistachios and Feta
Packed with good-for-you grains, vegetables, fruits and healthy fats, this dish is sure to satisfy. Finishing with a little Sigona’s Blood Orange Olive Oil gives it the perfect touch. Adapted from Feast. Serves 4.
Creamy Avocado & Lemon Pasta with Garlic and Basil
All the comforts of a creamy pasta dish with fewer calories and better-for-you fats! This is a delicious pasta dish that relies on blended avocados to give it an irresistible creaminess, without the use of cheese or dairy. Serves 4 to 6.
Big Grain Bowls with Spiraled Sweet Potatoes and a Tahini Dressing
Time to clean out the fridge? Try a big grain bowl! Sometimes called hippie bowls, macro bowls, they're often called Buddha bowls because the approach is about a balance to what you eat, that and the ingredients are generally served in a deep-rimmed dish that’s rounded at the top by overflowing, vibrant food. There are no strict guidelines to assembly; add in or remove any ingredients you like best. Buddha bowls are excellent vegan or plant-based options, but you can add a fried or soft-boiled egg, or even shredded chicken for added protein. Layering in fermented food, such as sauerkraut or pickled beetroot, is a great way to add in more nutrients and health benefits. Choose all raw ingredients or add more flavor by roasting some veggies.
Carmelo Sigona emigrated in 1912 from Sicily, bringing with him the tradition of making his own wine. His grandson and namesake, Carmelo Sigona, co-owner of Sigona's Farmers Market, has fond memories of his grandfather making wine and serving it at family meals on Sundays. After years of wanting to make his own wine just like Grandpa Sigona, present-day Carmelo has finally made his dreams come true. Tune in for more.
Nothing is more rewarding to Rob Sigona, our passionate produce buyer, than taking a road trip to visit one of Sigona's favorite farmers.
About a five hour drive from the Bay Area, nestled in the Sierra Nevada foothills, is the town of Springville. There you will find a place seemingly untouched by time; a place called home to orange grower Ron Matik of Pleasant Oaks Ranch.
Since 1984 Ron has grown some of the best heirloom navel oranges in the state, if not the world: the heirloom Washington Navel.
"I have yet to taste an orange that is better than ours,” says Matik. “Maybe some with the same sweetness, but never better.”
And Sigona's agrees!
Heirloom Washington Navels are the variety that got the whole California citrus market booming all those years ago. It takes special attention from the farmer to tend to the soil and the variety to produce such outstanding fruit.
"Small farmers, such as Ron, are a dwindling breed,” says Rob Sigona. “They’re passionate caretakers of the the land that produce exceptional quality; they are the rare gems."
It is an achievement to find such great tasting oranges to bring in for our customers. We are excited to announce we’ll get a load of specially picked and packed heirloom Washington Navels in our store this week, delivered directly from Pleasant Oaks Ranch.
So, come on by Sigona's to enjoy a slice of California’s prized history…for FREE! You can get a bag of free Pleasant Oaks Ranch oranges starting today through March 5th with your coupon when you spend $30 or more in the store.
A Tale of Two Carmelos and their love of Zinfandel