It’s nearly Spring and Avocado season is here. Yum! Avocados are high in healthy monounsaturated fats (the GOOD fats) and a good source of fibre, vitamins A, C and E, folate and minerals. Delicious and healthy? Yes, it’s true!
Do you have troubling trying to work out if an avocado is ripe or not? Try the three-finger method; wrap three fingers around the avocado, if there is a bit of give, then it is ripe. As soon as they start to soften, that’s when you know they’re ready.
If you want your avocados to ripen quickly put them in a bag or in a fruit bowl with ripe bananas, tomatoes or apples.
Once you have ripened your avocado put the creamy, buttery flesh to good use with one of these delicious avocado recipes:
Tip: Remember to cut the avocado just before using it and drizzle with a little lime or lemon juice to stop it from discolouring.
Avocado Chicken Salad
2 avocados (peeled, pitting, and sliced)
1 cup buttermilk
1 green onion
¼ cup fresh parsley
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ cup water
salt and pepper (to taste) Chicken Salad
1 tablespoon Dried Italian Herbs
3 ¼ cups shredded cooked chicken (about 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts)
2 celery stalks (finely chopped)
1 large shallot (finely chopped)
1 avocado (peeled, pitting, and diced small)
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
¾ cup Avocado dressing
½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
salt and pepper (to taste)
Step 1: In a food processor or blender combine 2 avocados, buttermilk, green onion, parsley,lemon juice, water, and salt and pepper. Pulse until smooth. This will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Step 2: In a medium bowl combine chicken, celery, shallot, 1 avocado, mayonnaise, Italian Herbs, and parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine.
Avocado Caprese Salad
2 cups fresh rocket
4 or 5 cherry or grape style tomatoes, sliced
½ avocado, pitted and sliced
3 slices fresh mozzarella cheese
fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1½ teaspoons balsamic vinegar
generous pinch of sugar or dollop of honey
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Assemble the rocket, tomato, avocado slices and mozzarella in a serving bowl. Top with torn or slivered basil leaves. Whisk the extra virgin olive oil in a small bowl with the balsamic vinegar, sugar or honey and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste and pour over the salad. Toss to coat and serve.
Avocado Chicken Bombs
1 ripe avocado
1 Spring Onion, finely chopped
½ tomato, chopped
2 Tbsp. Coriander, chopped
pinch of salt
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Freshly ground black pepper
16 prosciutto strips
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Preheat oven to 200°C.
Using a knife, cut around the pit of the avocado, separating the halves from each other. Remove the pit and use a spoon to scoop out the avocado. In a large bowl, combine the avocado, spring onion, tomato, coriander, salt, pepper and lime juice. Mash and stir with a fork until there are no large chunks of avocado left.
Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper on all sides. Slice chicken breasts in half crosswise. Cut a slit into the center of each half to make a pocket. Take a heaping spoonful of the guacamole and pack it into the pocket. Pinch the edges of the chicken closed.
Wrap the chicken with two strips of prosciutto, making sure the ends of the prosciutto all end up on the same side of the chicken.
Heat oil in a pan over high heat. Sear the prosciutto-wrapped chicken for two to three minutes on each side. Remember to cook the sides of the chicken as well. Put the chicken in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
Poach eggs: Bring a medium shallow saucepan of water and vinegar to the boil. Break the egg into a small dish. Reduce the heat, of the water, to a simmer. Carefully slide in the egg. Repeat this process with the remaining egg. Allow 3 – 4 minutes for poached eggs with firm whites and soft runny yolks. Cook longer for a firmer egg. Remove with a slotted spoon, rest on a paper towel to absorb any excess water.
Scoop out avocado flesh into a mixing bowl, add lemon juice, goats fetta, and salt. Mash together with a fork.
Place cooked sourdough on plate. Top with desired amount of smashed avocado mix. Place poached egg on top. Repeat with leftover sourdough, avocado mix and poached egg.
Tacos with grilled chicken, bean salsa and avocado
For the salsa:
200 g black beans, tin, rinsed and well drained
200 g red beans, tin, rinsed and well drained
2 tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and finely diced
1 – 2 chilli peppers, finely chopped
1 onion, diced
2 tbsp freshly chopped coriander
4 – 5 tbsp olive oil
1 – 2 tsp lime juice
For the tacos:
4 chicken breast fillets, approx. 120 g each
2 tsp tandoori spice mix
8 – 12 small tortillas
2 spring onions, sliced on the diagonal
1 avocado, cut into narrow wedges
1 handful coriander, leaves picked
100 g sour cream
1. In a bowl, crush the beans lightly with a fork. Add the tomatoes, chillies, onion, chopped coriander and 2-3 tbsp oil. Mix well and season to taste with a pinch of sugar, lime juice, salt and ground black pepper.
2. Season the chicken with salt and tandoori spices and grill all over, on an oiled grill or barbecue, for around 10 minutes.
3. Heat the tortillas briefly on the grill. Cut the chicken into strips and arrange on the tortillas with a little of the salsa. Top with the spring onions, avocado and coriander, and garnish with a dollop of sour cream. Fold up and serve with the remaining salsa on the side.