an ode to avocado


Avocado Green Goddess Dressing                                                     Avocado Cilantro Hummus                                                                         Avocado Toast

Rich and creamy, buttery and lush, my infatuation with the avocado continues. I’m obsessed with finding new ways to incorporate it into everything I eat. And because there’s an avocado apocalypse rumored to be hitting next year (due to this year’s extreme drought in the west) I’m borderline frantic about enjoying them now while I can still get my hands on them! Here are three delicious ways to show these jewels some love: a zingy green goddess dressing, blended with avocado and packed with fragrant herbs; luscious avocado hummus for dipping, zesty with cumin and fresh cilantro; and avocado toast, my new go-to snack of lightly mashed avocado piled high on crusty country bread. My beloved avocado, oh how I worship thee! Let me count the ways….


Buy only Haas avocados–they have the best flavor and texture by far. A perfectly ripe avocado will be shiny and almost black; it should yield slightly to the pressure of your thumb, but not be mushy. If you can’t find ripe avocados at your market, buy them green and they will ripen quickly on your kitchen counter or in a brown paper bag. The flesh inside should be yellowish-green and unblemished; stab the pit with the blade of your knife, twist it slightly and lift to remove. Use the blade again to score the flesh horizontally and vertically to create dice–scoop it out with a spoon and you’re ready to cook.

Avocado Green Goddess Dressing


Green goddess, a classic dressing concocted by a hotel chef in the 1920’s, is loaded with verdant herbs, hence its colorful name. Avocado adds to its beautiful hue and thick and creamy texture, making it a perfect coating for buttery Boston lettuce or a wonderful dip for crudités or chips. It blends up quickly, but the flavors meld best if you allow it to sit in the fridge for a while.


Don’t be put off by the anchovy here–it adds depth to the sauce, but you won’t really taste it. In a small food processor, combine mayonnaise, buttermilk, avocado, chopped herbs, lemon juice, anchovy and garlic. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, adjusting seasoning and lemon juice, if needed.


Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Toss gently with tender Boston lettuce and plate, or serve as a dip with a variety of vegetables or chips.


Avocado Cilantro Hummus


Chickpeas never had it this good. Avocado adds a new dimension to this party favorite–kind of a mashup of hummus and guacamole. Using canned chickpeas makes this preparation quick and easy, but it still packs a wallop of flavor from lemon and lime juice, ground cumin and a final addition of fresh cilantro.


In a food processor, combine drained chickpeas, chopped avocado (squeeze the scored flesh right out of its skin), lemon and lime juice, tahini, chopped garlic, cumin, kosher salt and ground black pepper.


Add the olive oil and process until combined and smooth. Mix in chopped cilantro and pulse until just incorporated. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed.


Spread hummus in a shallow serving bowl and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Serve with pita toasts and crudités.


Avocado Toast


Avocado toast is considered breakfast by many, but I’m happy to have it for dinner. Though this yummy snack takes only 5 minutes to make, it’s extremely gratifying. There’s a perfect yin yang of velvety and crunchy here. To gild the lily, I add crisp, thin slices of radish, delicate mustard micro greens and smoked sea salt for an unusual finish. Top this however you like: crumbled goat cheese, arugula leaves, fresh herbs, cucumber slices… or not. Sometimes simple is best.


Choose a crusty country bread and slice it thickly. Toast lightly and rub slices with a garlic clove half while still hot from the oven. In a small bowl, lightly mash avocado dice, leaving it mostly chunky. Add a drizzle of lemon juice to taste. Pile the mashed avocado on top of the toast and spread it thickly. Top with radish slices, micro greens or sprouts and sprinkle with smoked sea salt.


Avocado Green Goddess Dressing

Adapted from Bon Appétit
Makes 1 cup:

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 avocado, chopped
1/4 cup chives, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon tarragon, chopped
1 tablespoon basil, chopped
1 to 2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 anchovy
1 garlic clove, chopped
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Avocado Cilantro Hummus

Adapted from Kay Chun/Food and Wine
Makes 3 Cups:

2 avocados, chopped
1 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained
2 tablespoons tahini
juice of one lemon
juice of one lime
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzle
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped


Avocado Toast

Serves 2:

2 thick slices of crusty country bread
1 garlic clove, cut in half lengthwise
2 avocados, chopped
lemon juice
2 sliced radishes
mustard micro greens or sprouts
smoked or flaked sea salt


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