Winter has finally drifted in to my sunny city, and it’s totally soup season. The wind is blowing umbrellas inside out, and the kids are blowing their noses all day. I’m getting out the big pots, ready to warm up from the inside out.
First, however, I’ve taken advantage of one of my favorite winter fruits to keep my mood sunny. Perhaps it is because I associate avocados with California and Mexico, two places I associate with sunshine, that avocados always make me think of sun. I do find it odd that the time of year they are most readily available in Israel is the winter. When I spread avocado salad on challah, scoop it onto a cracker, wrap it up with ground meat and veggies on a fresh tortilla, or even eat it with a spoon, I can close my eyes and taste summer. Or is that garlic?
Not all fats are created equal. Avocados have gained popularity in recent years because of their health benefits. They’re full of vitamins and minerals, and some studies have shown they can even lower cholesterol. Add to this that they’re gluten-free and vegan–and delicious–and it’s no wonder that everyone is stocking their kitchens with them.
I’ve been experimenting a lot with avocados lately, too. In the summer, they’re scarce and expensive, and I rarely buy them. Since I love avocado so much, now that they’re in season and affordable, sometimes I get a little carried away. When avocados in a mesh bag were on sale a few weeks ago for 4.90 shekels/kilo (the equivalent of about 59 cents a pound), I bought one bag. I figured it was the perfect time to try out all the avocado recipes I usually sigh at because avocados are just so expensive. It was an interesting week. I enjoyed a delicious kale salad with avocado and pomegranate. (Recipe coming soon.) The whole family ate avocado chocolate mousse, which doubled as avocado chocolate frosting. (Recipe coming soon.) And I still can’t believe this, but I got my kids to eat avocado-banana-honey chocolate cake. That recipe I am not planning on sharing because it tasted like avocado, banana, and chocolate, which is just not the best combo. 😛
This is my tried and true favorite avocado salad. It’s more substantial than the standard guacamole but still dreamily creamy.
1 large avocado, cubed
1 small tomato, chopped
1 hard-boiled egg, finely chopped
1-2 clove, crushed
juice of half a lemon
1 tsp salt
dash of pepper
Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit, but don’t throw it out! Score the flesh in a criss-cross fashion like you would cut a mango. Carefully scoop the cubes off the skin with a metal spoon. Mix everything in a bowl until the ingredients are evenly distributed, but don’t over-mash the avocado. Use that pit you saved to put in the container with any leftover avocado salad you store in the fridge. Along with the lemon, it helps keep the salad from turning brown. Really.
* Be very careful using sharp knives to remove avocado pits. A friend of mine gashed her hand pretty badly trying to pit an avocado with a fancy technique she saw on youtube.
* The tomato and egg should be finely chopped so they complement the avocado instead of overpowering it.
* Fresh garlic and lemon are the best, but in a pinch, you can use garlic powder and and bottled lemon juice. Your salad just won’t taste as good.
* The salt is crucial in this recipe. If Your salad doesn’t taste right, chances are it just needs more salt.
What’s your favorite avocado recipe? Please share in the comments!