Eat the Season: California Avocados Have Arrived

The Golden State and its farmers have garnered a delicious reputation for the bright fruits and crisp vegetables they produce locally. Springtime is when many of those products reach the peak of their seasons, including California avocados, which are only available now through late summer.

In celebration of the 2019 season, the California Avocado Commission (CAC) has enlisted the creativity of Chef Mike Fagnoni, executive chef and co-owner of Sacramentos Hawks Provisions and Public House, to create two dishes that burst with fresh, seasonal ingredients grown in California.

The benefits of eating in season are bountiful. By selecting foods that are grown in abundance and locally sourced, youre getting produce that is freshly picked and at its richest flavor, while also supporting local communities and minimizing the impact of long-distance transportation.

Based in Northern California, Chef Fagnoni is fortunate to be surrounded by a number of local growers from which he sources his ingredients to help shape his cuisine.

As a California chef, I try to craft my restaurants menus around whats in season locally, as it ensures were using the freshest and best-tasting ingredients, said Fagnoni. Now that California avocados have arrived, Ill be incorporating them into a number of dishes because their creamy texture truly elevates any recipe.

His new recipes, California Avocado and Roasted Beet Salad with Navel Oranges and Olive Tapenade, as well as Chilled California Avocado Soup with English Peas and Preserved Lemon Cr¨me Frache, prominently showcase a number of local, seasonal items and highlight the endless versatility of California avocados. Not only are they delicious, heart-healthy California avocados are naturally sodium, cholesterol and sugar free making them a healthy choice for any diet. With good fats that act as a nutrient booster helping your body absorb fat-soluble nutrients, this nutritious fruit has only 80 calories per 50 grams (one-third medium avocado) and provides 20 vitamins and minerals.

California avocado lovers everywhere can get these seasonal recipes and more at CaliforniaAvocado.com/recipes, and follow along on Facebook at Facebook.com/CaliforniaAvocados, and on Twitter and Instagram at @ca_avocados.

California Avocado and Lemon Cr¨me Frache Soup Recipe created by Chef Mike Fagnoni of Hawks Provisions and Public House for the California Avocado Commission

Serves: 8

Prep time: 3 hours and 30 minutes Cook time: 10 minutes Total time: 3 hours and 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup English peas, shucked, plus extra for garnish
  • 4 ripe, Fresh California Avocados, seeded, peeled and halved
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt, or to taste
  • 3 Tbsp. cr¨me frache or sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp. Preserved Lemon (make ahead recipe below)

Instructions:

  1. Place peas in a small pot of boiling water for about 2 minutes. Drain the peas, refresh them in a bowl of ice water and set aside.
  2. Place avocados in a blender with the half and half and 3/4 cup of the peas.
  3. Puree on high speed, adding 6 Tbsp. of oil in a thin stream to emulsify.
  4. Season with salt, pass the mixture through a fine sieve and set aside.
  5. Place the cr¨me frache in a small mixing bowl with the preserved lemon and mix thoroughly.
  6. Place the remaining 1/4 cup of peas into another bowl and season with 1 Tbsp. oil.
  7. Serve the soup in small soup bowls and top with cr¨me frache mixture in the center. Sprinkle each bowl with peas for garnish and drizzle with remaining oil.

Preserved Lemon Yields: 1/4 cup Ingredients:

  • 1 medium lemon
  • 1/2 Tbsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander seed

Preserved Lemon Instructions:

  1. Wash the lemon with hot water, peel the skin and juice the lemon into a small mixing bowl.
  2. Mix the lemon juice with salt, chili flakes and coriander seed.
  3. Add the lemon peels into the mixing bowl and refrigerate for 3 hours up to 5 days.
  4. Upon serving, rinse the lemon peels once more and mince finely.

California Avocado and Roasted Beet Salad Recipe created by Chef Mike Fagnoni of Hawks Provisions and Public House for the California Avocado Commission

Serves: 4

Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes Total time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 6 fresh baby beets
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 navel oranges
  • 1/2 cup mixed olives (such as Kalamata, black, green and Picholine)
  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled
  • 3 ripe, Fresh California Avocados, seeded, peeled and quartered

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and drizzle beets with 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Roast beets for 10-15 minutes, until fork tender. Remove the beets from the oven and slice into quarters.
  2. Zest 1 orange and set zest aside. Peel and segment both oranges and reserve.
  3. To make Olive Tapenade: place olives, half the zest, 2 Tbsp. olive oil and garlic in a food processor and blend until mixture is finely chopped.
  4. To serve, spoon Olive Tapenade evenly at the bottom of each dish. Arrange beets, avocados and oranges on the tapenade, then top salad with remaining olive oil and zest.

**Large avocados are recommended for these recipes. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.

About the California Avocado Commission Created in 1978, the California Avocado Commission strives to enhance the premium positioning of California avocados through advertising, promotion and public relations, and engages in related industry activities. California avocados are cultivated with uncompromising dedication to quality and freshness, by more than 3,000 growers in the Golden State. The California Avocado Commission serves as the official information source for California avocados and the California avocado industry. Visit CaliforniaAvocado.com, or join us on Facebook at Facebook.com/CaliforniaAvocados and @CA_Avocados on TwitterPinterest and Instagram for updates.

Brittney Theriault
[email protected]
213-335-5551