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(June 4, 2012) – During the peak of the California avocado growing season, the premium quality of this hand-grown fruit can be found in kitchens, restaurants and grocery stores across the country. Because California produces approximately 90 percent of the nation’s avocado crop, grown on nearly 5,000 family farms, several local city and county governments have named June California Avocado Month. In partnership with the California Avocado Commission, popular chefs from New York City to San Diego are sharing their love of the fruit’s rich flavor and creamy texture by incorporating California avocado dishes into their restaurant’s menus throughout the month of June..
A number of California city and county governments where partner chefs are helping to promote the fruit are also officially designating June as California Avocado Month, including the City of Los Angeles, City of Santa Monica, Placer County and San Diego County.
“California avocado season runs from spring to early fall, but growers work hard year-round to produce high quality fruit that they’re proud of,” said Tom Bellamore, president of the California Avocado Commission. “We thank the cities and counties that named June California Avocado Month for recognizing the hard work of our growers as well as our chef partners who create and share unique recipes so that everyone can find a way to enjoy the versatile fruit when it’s in season.”
CAC’s network of participating chefs include chefs in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle.
In addition to its consistent quality and exceptional flavor, many chefs use California avocados as a nutrient booster because they enable the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients in the foods that are eaten with the fruit Avocados are cholesterol free and contain “good” fats along with nearly 20 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients per one ounce serving (one fifth of a medium avocado). The greatest concentration of nutrients is in the dark green fruit closest to the peel which is accessible by nicking the peel and then peeling the skin from the avocado.
“California avocados are one of my favorite ingredients to work with,” said Kent Rathbun, owner of Abacus, Jasper’s and Rathbun’s Blue Plate Kitchen restaurants in Texas. “I encourage everyone to experience the versatility of California avocados at a participating restaurant or by trying one of the recipes we’ve created at home.”
Chef Rathbun and chef Trey Foshee of George’s at the Cove in La Jolla, Calif. created special recipes just for California Avocado Month. Chef Rathbun’s Citrus Rock Shrimp and California Avocado Ceviche blends citrus flavors with seafood and creamy avocado for a California-style treat no matter where the dish is made. Chef Foshee shows just how well a California avocado’s flavor can complement any dish with his recipe for Indian Spiced California Avocado and Carrot Salad.
CITRUS ROCK SHRIMP AND CALIFORNIA AVOCADO CEVICHE
This delicious ceviche features a trio of citrus flavors – grapefruit, orange and lime – that pair perfectly with California avocados and fresh shrimp. Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.
Recipe Created by chef Kent Rathbun for the California Avocado Commission.
Prep Time: 2 hours and 15 minutes, including marinating time
â€¢ 4 cups rock shrimp, shelled
â€¢ 2 tsp. minced habanero pepper, stem, seed and membrane removed
â€¢ 1 cup pink grapefruit segments, skin and seeds removed
â€¢ 1 cup orange segments, skin and seeds removed
â€¢ 1/4 cup lime segments, skin removed
â€¢ 4 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar (hibiscus vinegar, if available)
â€¢ 1/2 Tbsp. natural sea salt
â€¢ 4 ripe, Fresh California Avocados, seeded, peeled and cut in 1/2-inch chunks
â€¢ 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
â€¢ 4 Tbsp. crushed dried bananas
1. In a mixing bowl, mix together rock shrimp, habanero, grapefruit, orange and lime segments, hibiscus vinegar and sea salt. Let marinate for two hours.
2. Once shrimp has marinated for two hours, add avocado and cilantro leaves.
3. Serve in a chilled martini glass or clear glass bowl. Garnish with dried banana and serve.
Nutrition Information Per Serving:
Calories 280; Total Fat 13 g (Sat 2.5 g, Trans 0 g, Poly 1.5 g, Mono 8 g); Cholesterol 140 mg; Sodium 546 mg; Potassium 470 mg; Total Carbohydrates 18 g; Dietary Fiber 4 g; Total Sugars 7 g; Protein 24 g
Copyright © 2012, Kent Rathbun
INDIAN SPICED CALIFORNIA AVOCADO AND CARROT SALAD
This unique blend of California Avocados, carrots and kumquats topped with a simple vinaigrette and Indian spices offers you and your guests a refreshing salad that’s perfect for a summer get-together.
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.
Recipe Created by chef Trey Foshee for the California Avocado Commission.
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
â€¢ 24 baby carrots, cleaned well (assorted colors, if available)
â€¢ 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
â€¢ Salt, to taste
â€¢ Pepper, to taste
â€¢ 1/4 cup thinly sliced kumquats
â€¢ 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
â€¢ 1/4 cup Shallot Vinaigrette (see make-ahead recipe below)
â€¢ 1/4 cup Indian Spiced Yogurt (see make-ahead recipe below)
â€¢ 1 ripe Fresh California Avocado, seeded, peeled and quartered
â€¢ 1/4 cup crushed toasted almonds
â€¢ 2 Tbsp. honey (orange-scented, if available)
1. Preheat oven to 350Â°F. Toss 1/4 of the carrots with the oil on a roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper and place in the oven to roast until soft, approximately 20 minutes. Remove and let stand.
2. Using a vegetable peeler, slice the rest of the carrots very thinly. (Note: This can be done in advance and held in cold water.)
3. In a medium bowl, combine the shaved carrots, kumquats, cilantro and the Shallot Vinaigrette and toss well.
4. For each serving, spread 2 tablespoons of the Indian Spiced Yogurt on the plate and spread into a thin layer using a spoon.
5. Place an avocado quarter on one side of the yogurt spread, and one roasted carrot on the other side of the yogurt spread.
6. Place even amounts of the carrot and kumquat salad on top of the yogurt on each plate.
7. Sprinkle almonds and honey over the top.
â€¢ 2 Tbsp. finely minced shallots
â€¢ 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
â€¢ 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
â€¢ 1 tsp. salt
â€¢ 1/4 tsp. ground white pepper
â€¢ 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1. Combine the shallots, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper in a bowl and let sit for 5 minutes.
2. Whisk in the oil.
INDIAN SPICED YOGURT
â€¢ 1 red pepper, seeded and diced
â€¢ 1 Tbsp. peeled and minced ginger
â€¢ 1 Tbsp. mustard seed
â€¢ 1/8 tsp. whole black pepper
â€¢ 1 tsp. coriander seed
â€¢ 1 tsp. cumin seed
â€¢ 2 cloves
â€¢ 2 cardamom pods
â€¢ 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper
â€¢ 1 tsp. salt
â€¢ 1/4 cup water
â€¢ 2 cups yogurt
1. SautÃ© the pepper in olive oil until soft, approximately 15 minutes.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and cook about 10 minutes.
3. Add the water and cook 15 minutes.
4. Blend and strain through a fine mesh strainer. Mix in the yogurt.
5. This recipe will give you more than you need but it makes a great topping for grilled avocados or fish.
Nutrition Information Per Serving:
Calories 320; Total Fat 26 g (Sat 3 g, Trans 0 g, Poly 3 g, Mono 18 g); Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 350 mg; Potassium 420 mg; Total Carbohydrates 22 g; Dietary Fiber 5 g; Total Sugars 13 g; Protein 4 g
Copyright © 2012, Trey Foshee
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 5,000 avocado growers. The California Avocado Commission serves as the official information source for California avocados and the California avocado industry. For information about California avocados, visit CaliforniaAvocado.com, become a fan at Facebook.com/CaliforniaAvocados and follow the California Avocado Commission on Twitter at Twitter.com/CA_Avocados.