Long maligned as a “fatty” fruit, avocados have made a comeback in the nutritional limelight. A medium-sized avocado contains about 30 grams of monosaturated fat, aka the good kind, that actually lowers cholesterol and the risks of heart disease. As a transplant to Southern California, I eat a few avocados a week… spread on whole wheat toast with sea salt and black pepper, whipped up as a mousse or guacamole, or in a multitude of different salads. Lucky for me, they do actually “grow on trees” here, and I don’t have to spend 5 dollars for one at the bodega, like I did in NYC.
We had a lovely brunch at Casa Del Mar this weekend in Santa Monica. Our appetizer was a Grapefruit, Watermelon and Avocado Salad with Aged Feta. This is the type of salad that only needs a drizzle of EVOO and a bit of salt and pepper, because the ingredients are so vibrant and full-flavored. The aged Feta was firmer than the usual young and crumbly kind. It’s briny-ness paired well with the citrus.
I also made a salad recently with avocado and heirloom tomatoes from the farmer’s market. Check out the recipe below. Winter is the season for avocados… add them to your next meal! Their flesh oxidizes quickly, so dress them immediately, or stop the process with citrus juice.
Avocado and Heirloom Tomato Salad
Ingredients (2 servings)
1 ripe avocado, pitted and cut into wedges
1 large, ripe heirloom tomato, cored and cut into wedges
1/4 of an English cucumber, sliced in half moons
1 shallot, thinly sliced
5 leaves of basil, thinly sliced
1 tblsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice
salt and fresh pepper
2 tblsp extra-virgin olive oil
1. In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and in a slow steady stream, the olive oil. Stir in the basil and shallot.
2. Gently toss avocado, tomato and cucumber in the dressing. Serve immediately.