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Archive for Monday, July 9, 2012

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Delicious/Nutritious: 4-ingredient avocado dishes

July 9, 2012

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A favorite of our two cooks takes center plate, and they couldn’t have made it simpler: Each recipe has only four ingredients.

Delicious: Fire up the grill for these balsamic grilled avocados.

Delicious: Fire up the grill for these balsamic grilled avocados.

Delicious

My beloved avocado. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways: as guacamole; in a salad; atop a sandwich, burrito or egg; or just by yourself, on a plate, with a bit of salt, to name just a few.

I eat an avocado almost every day, in some shape or form. I can’t get enough. They’re so versatile and delicious.

My neighbor, the amazing Monica, makes avocado ice cream that is to die for. I’ve seen Alton Brown make frosting for a cake out of the beautiful fruits.

I mean, seriously. What can’t the avocado do?

Well, you might say it can’t be grilled, but you would be wrong. In fact, one of my favorite summer delicacies is grilled avocado. Weird? A little. Wonderful? Absolutely.

I can’t remember how I got turned on to this little trick, but I’ve been amazing dinner guests with it for years, and it could not be easier.

It’s so beautiful in its simplicity. This recipe requires only four ingredients, but people will think you are a culinary mastermind when they see you execute it.

Balsamic Grilled Avocados

  • 3 avocados, halved and pitted, shells removed
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (I like the big flakes for this application, but it doesn’t really matter)
  • 6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • kosher salt

Heat your grill to medium heat, then put your avocados on indirect heat for about a minute per side. Pour a little balsamic over them as you cook.

After cooking, remove from heat, sprinkle with salt, a little more balsamic (be sure to get a fair amount in the “well” where the pit was) and a little parmesan cheese.

Serves 6.

This, my friends, is what summer tastes like. Also, it’s really appealing because it’s so fast and requires almost zero prep. I usually just serve them as side dishes, but you can also slice them up and serve them over chicken or fish, or slide a fried egg atop them for a beautiful brunch item.

The world is your avocado! Enjoy!

Nutritious: Mix up fresh ingredients for an avocado, tomato and mango salad.

Nutritious: Mix up fresh ingredients for an avocado, tomato and mango salad.

Nutritious

If you haven’t noticed before, I ADORE avocados.

In this space and on my Lawrence.com blog, I am constantly using them. In salads, sauces, sandwiches and desserts. (Yes, it’s true. See my Chocolate Mint Avocado Pudding from December’s Delicious/Nutritious.)

I probably average one per day, and my son comes pretty close to matching me bite for bite.

We’re the people buying 12 Hass avocados at a time and then using them within a week. Kind of embarrassing, but you know what? It’s totally worth the taste and the amazing health benefits.

The fat in avocados is the heart-healthy monounsaturated kind, and they’re high in antioxidants, plus vitamins A, E, B and C.

Therefore, this month’s Delicious/Nutritious challenge ingredient was both satisfying and complete torture. I say this because I have TOO MANY avocado recipes. Having to pick just one of them has actually been painful. It’s like choosing your favorite kid or animal or Jack Reacher book (though I’m totally partial to the one set in Nebraska).

So I chose my recipe the only fair way one can: with logic. I gathered all of the avocado recipes I’d love to share with you, dear readers, and then narrowed them down based on seasonality. I have recipes for avocado pie, smoothies, soups and more, but some are definitely more for seasons besides summer.

In the end, my favorite, and I mean FAVORITE, simple salad from the past few summers won out. It makes a great lunch or dinner on days that are surface-of-the-sun hot and happens to use just four ingredients. Yep, four.

Simple, delicious, nutritious and easy.

Avocado, Tomato and Mango Salad

  • 1 avocado, chopped into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 large tomato, chopped, or 1 cup of cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half (my favorite of either are heirlooms)
  • 1 mango, peeled and chopped into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch chunks
  • Lime juice

Mix all fruit in a bowl. Squirt on lime juice to taste (I like to use a lot). Enjoy!

Serves 1-2.

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