IRVINE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Springtime in California brings with it the season’s bounty of fresh, local ingredients that inspire home and professional chefs alike. To kick off this year’s California avocado season, which runs now through Labor Day, the California Avocado Commission (CAC) has partnered with two highly acclaimed chefs to create fresh takes on classic California dishes by featuring the state’s favorite fruit.
From salads to sandwiches, pastas to soups, it’s pretty much a given when a dish has “California” in its name, it’s likely a dish made even better with creamy delicious avocados. CAC’s partner chefs have developed two recipes with a California twist for everyone to enjoy.
Two-star Michelin Chef Josiah Citrin, of Los Angeles’ lauded Melisse and Charcoal Venice, elevated a simple pasta pesto dish with the use of the creamy fruit in his Linguine with California Avocado Pesto and Cherry Tomatoes, spotlighting California avocados in season.
“California avocados are one of the most versatile ingredients you can work with,” says Citrin. “Here I have blended it seamlessly into a pasta sauce to add a velvety texture. However, regardless of its shape or form, the California avocado brings vivacity to all of the ingredients that surround it.”
At contemporary California restaurant, Kali, Chef Kevin Meehan has earned critical acclaim for blending the precision of white tablecloth kitchens with the accessibility and ease of a favorite neighborhood haunt. His menu is one that proudly showcases local ingredients. His Charred California Avocado Salad puts California’s cherished avocado front and center.
“We pride ourselves on serving hyperlocal dishes, so naturally California avocados – an essential California fruit – work their way onto our menu often,” says Meehan. “Our charred California avocado is served simply with pistachios and shaved vegetables. Some say it’s California on a plate.”
Each recipe highlights 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 sugar-, sodium- 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 CaliforniaAvocado.com/recipes, and follow along on Facebook at Facebook.com/CaliforniaAvocados, and on Twitter and Instagram at @ca_avocados.
*While many factors affect heart disease, diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Linguine with California Avocado Pesto and Cherry Tomatoes
Recipe created by Chef Josiah Citrin of Charcoal Venice for the California Avocado Commission
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
- 1 lb. linguine, cooked al dente, reserving 1 cup of pasta water
- 2 ripe, Fresh California Avocados, seeded and peeled
- 1 cup baby arugula leaves
- 1 cup baby spinach leaves
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
- 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup toasted cashews
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp. julienned basil leaves, for serving
- Place cooked linguine and reserved pasta water to the side.
- Add the halved avocados, baby arugula, baby spinach, basil leaves, pumpkin seeds, cashews, garlic, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and pepper to a blender or food processor and then blend until smooth.
- Once the pesto is smooth, add the grated parmesan and pulse a few more times to combine.
- Place the pasta in a large serving bowl and top with the California Avocado Pesto.
- Toss the pasta together with the pesto until coated.
- Add the halved cherry tomatoes
- A small amount of reserved pasta water can be added to the pasta, as needed, to create a loose, silky pesto that coats the linguini evenly.
- Sprinkle pasta with the julienned basil leaves and serve.
Charred California Avocado Salad with Pistachio Gremolata
Recipe created by Chef Kevin Meehan of Kali for the California Avocado Commission.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
- 2 firm ripe, Fresh California Avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
- 2 Tbsp. orange honey
- 1/8 tsp. salt, or to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 Tbsp. grapeseed oil
- 1/4 cup chopped pistachios
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup pistachio oil or sunflower oil
- 3 lemons, juiced and zested
- 3 Tbsp. diced chives
- 6 cups pre-washed mixed greens
- 1/4 cup shaved carrots
- 1/4 cup shaved celery
- 1/4 cup shaved radish
- 1/4 cup shaved turnip
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Brush honey on cut side of each avocado and season with salt and pepper.
- Heat grapeseed oil in a non-stick pan on medium until smoking.
- Place each avocado half cut side down in the pan to fully sear, until the honey caramelizes into a dark, golden color.
- Once golden, remove avocado halves to cool to room temperature and set aside.
- To make the gremolata, combine pistachios, olive oil, pistachio oil, chives, lemon juice and zest in a mixing bowl.
- In a larger mixing bowl, combine mixed greens, carrots, celery, radish, turnips and enough gremolata to dress the salad.
- Spoon approximately 2 cups of the dressed salad mixture on a plate.
- Place each skinned, halved avocado on a plate, char side up, and spoon another small portion of gremolata on top of the avocado, filling it.
- Use any remaining salad mixture to fill the plate, topping the gremolata over the full dish.
**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 commercially cultivated with uncompromising dedication to quality and freshness, by more than 2,000 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 Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for updates.