Summer produce is piling up on the counter and in the vegtable bin, and life has never been sweeter. But it’s a non-local food of questionable season that elevates the dishes made with corn, tomatoes and even baby potatoes.
We’re talking the avocado. With its fleshy texture, nutty flavor and silky touch, it adds a smooth finish to almost any summertime favorite. Try adding some slices to a BLT and you may never make one without it again.
Relegated to guacamole for years and years, the avocado is now a shining star. It fell out of favor for a while because of its high fat content, but then it turns out that’s the kind of fat you want – plant-based and nutritional.
When you need the simplest of sides, slice a ripe Haas avocado in half, remove the pit and drizzle the halves in their convenient serving rinds with lemon juice, olive oil and sea salt and dig in with a spoon.
Add avocado to salads – from pasta to potato. Or, you could mash it with some soft roasted garlic and softened butter and use it to top grilled steaks, or on hamburgers. Used mashed avocado with a touch of lemon juice in place of mayo on sandwiches. Its mild flavor combined with turkey or chicken breast borders on magic. Put some thought into it and the possibilities are as endless as a long, hot August day.
Corn and bean salad
1/4 cup mild vinegar, such as rice vinegar
1/4 cup red onion, slivered
2 ears fresh corn
1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup fresh herbs of your choice – basil, chives, thyme work well separately or mixed together. Cilantro is best used alone.
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
green (jalepeno) hot sauce to taste
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Place the onion slivers in the vinegar and set aside for at least 10 minutes.
In a large, deep bowl, use a sharp knife to remove the corn kernels from the cobs. Add black beans, tomatoes and herbs to the bowl and stir ingredients together. Use a slotted spoon to remove the onions from the vinegar and add them to the bowl. Reserve the vinegar.
Dice the avocado, and add it to the bowl with 2 Tbsp. of the vinegar used to soak the onions, olive oil, hot sauce and salt and pepper. Gently mix ingredients to avoid mashing the avocado. Great served with hot flour tortillas.