California’s Quintessential Cuisine Shines with California Avocados

The Golden State’s Rising Chefs Recreate Iconic California Dishes for California Avocado Season

Grilled Al Pastor Yellowtail Taco with Pineapple-Jalapeño Salsa & Lime Marinated California Avocados by Chef Christine Rivera of Galaxy Tacos (Photo: Business Wire)

IRVINE, Calif.--()--Springtime in California brings all the things Californians love – sun, surf and California avocados, in season from late spring through summer. For the 2017 season, the California Avocado Commission (CAC) recruited rising local chefs to create new recipes that fuse the state’s official fruit into classic regional dishes, from San Diego’s fish tacos with locally caught fish to San Francisco’s well-known sourdough bread, to celebrate the best of California.

No dish is more synonymous with San Diego than the fish taco. With a strong local fish supply, endless varieties of fish tacos abound. Chef Christine Rivera of San Diego’s highly acclaimed Galaxy Tacos was inspired by California’s culturally-diverse cuisine to create her Grilled Al Pastor Yellowtail Taco with Pineapple-Jalapeño Salsa & Lime Marinated California Avocados.

“I’m passionate about celebrating the fresh produce of California, especially California avocados,” says Rivera. “My dream fish taco is one that’s bursting with flavor, and my Al Pastor Yellowtail Taco with California Avocados fits the bill. I like the balance between the heat from the savory spices mellowed by the cool, creamy California avocados.”

At Galaxy Tacos’ older sibling restaurant – the iconic George’s at the Cove – Chef Jonathan Bautista has made waves in San Diego’s dining scene, spotlighting local, sustainable produce. His Grilled Tuna Taco with California Avocado Tzatziki pays homage to California’s love for Mediterranean cuisine, using the best of the state’s local ingredients.

“I love using seasonal produce in our menus, so when California avocados are in season, they’re in almost everything,” says Bautista. “I wanted to elevate the fish taco and make a dish that married the best of California’s land and sea – locally caught yellowfin tuna and premium California avocados.”

Up north in San Francisco, locals love their sourdough bread. At Tartine Manufactory, Chef Sam Goinsalvos has won hearts over with his rustic, yet elegant menus. His Smashed California Avocado Tartine with Charred Green Garlic and Roasted Poblano reflects his culinary sensibilities in this beloved California dish.

“San Francisco’s sourdough bread and California’s avocados are the perfect combination,” says Goinsalvos. “Smashed avocado toast is an easy crowd-pleaser because it is so simple, yet allows for so much creativity. Mine combines the best of California for a unique, local taste.”

All three recipes highlight the endless versatility of California avocados and bring together the bounty of California’s locally produced food. Not only are they delicious, California avocados are a heart-healthy superfood and are naturally sodium, sugar and cholesterol free. One-third of a medium avocado (50 g) has 80 calories, provides a good source of dietary fiber and contributes nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, making it a nutrient-rich choice for any diet.

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

Grilled Al Pastor Marinated Yellowtail Tacos with Pineapple-Jalapeño Salsa & Lime-Marinated California Avocado

Recipe created by Chef Christine Rivera of Galaxy Taco for the California Avocado Commission

Serves: 4 (2 tacos per serving)

Total Time: 2 Hour 15 Minutes

Prep Time: 2 Hours

Cook Time: 15 Minutes


  • 1 lb. yellowtail jack, cut into 8 logs (3/4 inch by 3 inches)*
  • 3 Tbsp. achiote paste
  • 2 Tbsp. ground guajillo Chile
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • Pineapple-Jalapeño Salsa (see make-ahead recipe below)
  • 2 cups diced pineapple
  • 2 fresh, ripe California avocados seeded, peeled , and diced (1/4”)
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1/8 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 1 white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 limes, quartered


  1. Blend achiote, chile, garlic, oregano, cumin, salt, vinegar and pineapple juice until smooth-puree like consistency.
  2. Reserve ¼ cup marinade and set aside in the refrigerator.
  3. In a medium bowl, rub the fish gently with the remaining mix until fully submerged. You want the fish to be bright red and covered in paste. Let it sit for a minimum of two hours in the fridge covered with plastic film.
  4. Pre heat a grill at 400°F. The key is to make sure the surface is nice and hot to develop a light char on the fish. Wood fire grill or over charcoal is highly recommended. If you do not have access to those two types of grills, a propane grill or hot skillet works fine as well.
  5. Season the marinated fish lightly with salt to taste. Place on grill to lightly char and cook, about 2-3 minutes per side to desired doneness.
  6. While you are cooking the fish, heat the tortillas on a separate skillet or the same cooking surface you are cooking fish on.
  7. Broil diced pineapple for 10 minutes, or until slightly charred in a 500°F oven and set aside to cool. Reserve.
  8. In a small bowl, dice avocado into ¼ inch pieces. Dress in lime juice and add salt to taste. Reserve.
  9. Cut white onion into thin strips. Rough chop the cilantro and then mix together. Reserve.
  10. Place the grilled fish in the center of the tortilla, spread the jalapeño pineapple salsa and reserved marinade on top of the fish. Top with charred pineapple and diced lime-marinated California avocado. Garnish with the thinly sliced onions and chopped cilantro and serve with a wedge of fresh cut lime.

Pineapple-Jalapeño Salsa


  • 1 pineapple, peeled, de-cored and cut in a large dice
  • 3 green jalapeños, stemmed and seeded, if desired
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil


  1. Roast the jalapeños and pineapple in the oven for 15 minutes on 350 degrees.
  2. After roasting, place in blender and puree until smooth adding oil and salt.

*You may substitute the yellow tail with an oily white fish, salmon or fresh tuna if not available in your local fish market.

Grilled Tuna Taco with California Avocado Tzatziki

Recipe created by Jonathan Bautista of California Modern at George's at the Cove for the California Avocado Commission.

Serves: 4 (2 tacos per serving)

Total Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 15 Minutes


  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. ground coriander
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb. sushi grade yellowfin tuna, cut into 8 logs (3/4 inch by 3 inches)
  • 1/2 cup California olive oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3/4 cup sliced English cucumbers
  • 1/8 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper, or, to taste
  • Lemon juice, to taste
  • 1 1/2 Tbsps. olive oil
  • 8 Flour Tortillas
  • California Avocado Tzatziki (see make-ahead recipe below)
  • 1 small bunch of fresh dill sprigs
  • 1 small bunch of fresh mint, picked
  • 2 ripe, fresh California avocados, seeded and peeled, 1/4 inch sliced


  1. In a small bowl, using a whisk, mix the lemon juice, oregano, cumin, coriander, cilantro, salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle the oil in a slow stream until incorporated. Reserve.
  2. In a medium bowl, rub the tuna with the mixture until coated properly. Reserve in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap to allow the marinade to infuse, about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat grill using charcoal or wood to about 400°F. You can also use a skillet indoors at high heat if you prefer.
  4. Grill or sear tuna logs about 45 seconds on each side. The tuna is best served seared rare, but cook until desired doneness. Set aside.
  5. In a small bowl, lightly mix the red onion, cherry tomatoes, English cucumbers, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and oil. Let marinate for 15 minutes.
  6. When you’re ready to serve and eat, heat flour tortillas on the same surface that the tuna was cooked on. The tortillas are best when served warm.

Place one log of tuna in center of each tortilla. Top with California Avocado Tzatziki, marinated tomato mixture, 3 dill springs, 3 mint leaves and 2 slices avocado.

California Avocado Tzatziki


  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. tahini paste
  • 1 1/2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced cucumber, 1/4 inch
  • 1/4 cup diced, ripe, fresh California avocado, 1/4 inch
  • 1/4 cup fork smashed, ripe, fresh California Avocado
  • 1 1/2 tsp. grated lemon peel


  1. In a small bowl, mix all ingredients until combined thoroughly. Refrigerate.

Smashed Avocado Tartine with Charred Green Garlic & Roasted Poblano

Recipe created by Chef Sam Goinsalvos of Tartine Manufactory for the California Avocado Commission.

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 5 min

Cook Time: 20 min

Total Time: 25 min


  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 4 thumb-size stalks green garlic
  • 2 tsp. oil
  • 2 ripe, fresh California avocados, seeded, peeled and diced
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1/8 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 4 slices sourdough bread, or rustic rye
  • 4 Tbsp. crushed corn nuts (quicos)


  1. For the poblano pepper, preheat the oven to 425°F and roast for 10 minutes or until the skin begins to blister. Remove from the oven, place in a bowl, and cover to let steam for 10 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, peel the skin off and dice the pepper. Set aside 1 tablespoon of the pepper for each serving.
  2. Meanwhile, to char the green garlic, lightly oil the stalks and cook in a cast iron pan over medium heat. Put a weight on the garlic or press down with a spatula until lightly charred and tender. Mince charred garlic and set aside 1 tablespoon of the garlic for each serving.
  3. In a bowl, mix together the green garlic, poblano, avocado, lime juice, and salt, then pile on top of the bread. Sprinkle with quicos (corn nuts) before serving.

**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 increase demand for California avocados through advertising, promotion and public relations, and engages in related industry activities that benefit the state’s nearly 4,000 avocado growers. The California Avocado Commission serves as the official information source for California avocados and the California avocado industry. For nutrition information and recipes visit, or join us on Facebook at and @CA_Avocados on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for updates.


for California Avocado Commission
Cristina Samiley, 213-335-5570

Release Summary

The Golden State’s rising chefs recreate iconic California dishes for the start of California Avocado Season


for California Avocado Commission
Cristina Samiley, 213-335-5570