Posts Tagged ‘avocado’

Watercress, avocado and pear salad

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Salade cresson-poire comp

It’s taken me ages to find really good cranberry juice hereabouts. Most of what’s available seems to be mostly sugar, low on cranberries and even lower on taste.

So I was delighted to find a brand (Prosain) containing 100% cranberry juice at my local organic shop. Here at last was the true taste of the fruit: so tart that it’s difficult to drink just as it is. But add a splash to orange juice and it really wakes up the flavour as well as adding a rosy glow.

The only drawback is that Prosain is imported from Canada so its ethical quotient is lowered by rather a lot of air miles. As this juice is starting to become known in France as an effective remedy for cystitis and similar infections, hopefully manufacturers will soon find it cheaper to grow the berries here.

Cranberry juice can replace lemon juice in all sorts of dishes. I used it to make a dressing for this salad, where it adds piquancy to a taste combination so gentle it could almost be a dessert.

Serves 2

A good handful of watercress
Some salad leaves (I used red oak-leaf lettuce)
An avocado
A ripe pear
1 tbs pinenuts
2 tbs sunflower oil
1 tbs cranberry juice (or lemon or lime juice)
Small pinch of salt

Wash, dry and tear up the watercress and salad leaves. Peel and stone the avocado and chop the flesh. Core the pear (no need to peel) and chop that too.

Toast the pinenuts in a cast-iron pan, stirring constantly so they don’t burn.

Put the oil, cranberry juice and salt in a small glass jar and shake well. Dress the salad with the mixture and sprinkle over the pinenuts just before serving.


Sunday, November 7th, 2010

Guacamole comp

Every year when I pull up the tomato plants in the greenhouse, I keep a few green tomatoes to make a big batch of this guacamole.

Tart and tangy, it freezes easily and makes a welcome addition to a selection of nibbles to serve with drinks on a cold night. Although nothing stops you eating some straight away, of course…

The traditional accompaniment to guacamole is plain or spicy tortilla chips but we prefer the extra-crunchy Kettle Chips which, I’m pleased to report, are now available in France.

For 4 small plastic tubs (200ml)

4 ripe avocados
1 shallot (about 25g)
2 green tomatoes (about 150g)
3 tbs cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
Groundnut oil (or other mild vegetable oil)

Peel the shallot and chop it roughly with the tomatoes before whizzing them together in a food processor. Peel the avocados, remove the stones and scoop out the flesh. Process again – how long will depend on whether you prefer your guacamole smooth or chunky. Add the vinegar and salt and mix again briefly.

Divide the mixture between four small plastic tubs (I used some that had contained glacé cherries) and pour a thin layer of oil over each portion. This stops the guacamole from discolouring. Put the lids on securely and freeze.

When you defrost a portion you can either mix the oil into the guacamole before serving or pour it off and keep it for cooking or making salad dressing.

Recipe adapted from Mexican Vegetarian Cooking by Edith Metcalfe de Plata (Thorsons, 1983).

Avocado gaspacho

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Gaspacho d'avocats

I was feeling pretty pleased to have come up with a recipe that anybody could eat – this soup is dairy-free, nut-free and gluten-free as well as suitable for raw foodists – until someone pointed out that I couldn’t serve it to people who are allergic to nightshade family vegetables like tomatoes, aubergines and peppers.

Well, all you have to do is leave out the pepper and that’s the problem sorted. Unless you happen not to like avocados…

The original recipe, from Elisabeth Luard, used dairy milk. Obviously it could be replaced by plant milk but I prefer this version made with water which lets the fresh flavours of the vegetables shine through.

If you have a glut of tomatoes at the moment you could put some of them in as well, although they do rather spoil the soup’s beautiful colour. However, if you’re still lucky enough to be eating outside in the evenings it’s unlikely anyone will notice.

Serves 4

1 cucumber
1 small green pepper
2 or 3 spring onions
2 cloves of garlic
3 ripe avocados
1 tsp salt
Juice of a lime

Roughly chop the cucumber, pepper, spring onion and garlic, and put them in a blender with just enough water to whizz to a paste. Rub the paste through a sieve, pressing hard to extract as much juice as possible.

Jus vert

Pour the resulting green liquid back into the blender (the pulp left in the sieve can be used for another dish). Peel the avocados, take out the stones and remove all the flesh, scraping the inside of the skins well because that’s where the richest green colour tends to lurk.

Put the avocado flesh in the blender with the salt, lime juice and 500ml (1 pint) of water. Blend again, adding a bit more water if needed to make the soup thick but pourable, and empty into a large jug. Chill for at least an hour before serving.