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http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/avocado

Avocado recipes
Rice bowl with ginger, radish and avocado
Rice bowl with ginger, radish and avocado

By Nigella Lawson
Sometimes also called an avocado pear, the avocado is the fruit of the Persea Americana tree, which is native to the subtropical regions of the American continent. It has green, buttery flesh and a large central stone. In Britain, two main avocado varieties are available: Hass and Fuerte. The Hass variety has a knobbly purple-black exterior and a creamy-textured, richly flavoured interior; the Fuerte variety has a smooth green skin. Avocados are very high in both protein and oil. The avocado has the highest protein and oil content of any fruit. In fact, this soft-fleshed fruit can contain up to 30 per cent fat. Don’t let the high fat content put you off, though; avocados contain only monounsaturated fat, which may help to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.
Recipes using avocado

Main course
Rice bowl with ginger, radish and avocado Rice bowl with ginger, radish and avocado
By Nigella Lawson
Marinated ribs with tomatillo salsa, guacamole and tortilla chips Marinated ribs with tomatillo salsa, guacamole and tortilla chips
By Matt Tebbutt
Buljol butties with pepper sauce, fried bakes and aioli
By Shivi Ramoutar
Sushi
By The Hairy Bikers
Loaded beetroot burgers with halloumi and sweet potato salad
By Donal Skehan
Light meals & snacks
Socca pancakes with roasted peppers and avocado Socca pancakes with roasted peppers and avocado
By Pippa Kendrick
Avocado, tomato, feta and brown rice grain bowl Avocado, tomato, feta and brown rice grain bowl
By Rebecca Sargent
Salmon, avocado and rocket salad with a wasabi dressing and green beans with sesame sauce
By Donal Skehan
Gravad lax with deep-fried egg and avocado salad
By James Martin
Lobster rolls with avocado butter and fresh mango chutney
By Matt Tebbutt
Brunch
Smashed avocado on toast Smashed avocado on toast
By Rebecca Sargent
Brunch burrito Brunch burrito
By The Herbert Family
Baked eggs in avocado with pitta Baked eggs in avocado with pitta
Smoked salmon stack with cured egg yolk
By Andi Oliver
Starters & nibbles
Prawn cocktail Prawn cocktail
By The Hairy Bikers
Caribbean toastie cups with avocado, mango and mint Caribbean toastie cups with avocado, mango and mint
By Lorraine Pascale
Avocado hummus Avocado hummus
By Gizzi Erskine
Seared tuna sashimi with avocado salad
By Leila Lindholm
Prawn and mango and pork and water chestnut lettuce cups with a 10-second egg-free miracle mayo
By Annabel Langbein
Side dishes
Chorizo guacamole
By Nigel Slater
Cakes and baking
Chickpea flatbreads with tasty toppings Chickpea flatbreads with tasty toppings
By Hemsley + Hemsley
Drinks and cocktails
Chocolate avocado shake Chocolate avocado shake
By Hemsley + Hemsley
Other
Real guacamole Real guacamole
By The Hairy Bikers
See all recipes using avocado
Buyer’s guide
These days, as well as growing throughout Central and South America, the avocado also thrives in parts of Africa, Australia, Israel and the Canaries. Look for avocadoes that have unblemished skins with no soft spots, which suggest bruising. They are ready to eat when the flesh yields slightly when pressed with the thumb.
Extra virgin avocado oil is now widely available in UK supermarkets. Use it as you would olive oil, for roasting and drizzling over salads; or serve it as a dip with crusty bread.
Preparation
When it comes to cooking, the Mexican dip called guacamole is without a doubt the best-known avocado dish. But Mexicans use avocados in a wide array of other dishes, from ceviche to tacos. In some parts of Mexico, avocado leaves are toasted and ground to imbue dishes with an anise flavour. In the Philippines, savoury-sweet avocado ice cream is popular.
Avocados must be allowed to ripen in a warm place before they’re used; speed up the process by wrapping them in brown paper. To test ripeness, press the skin lightly with your thumb. If it feels slightly yielding, it’s ready to eat. Cut lengthways down to the stone and twist to separate the two halves. Pierce the stone carefully with a knife to embed the knife’s tip, then pull the stone out.
The yellow-green flesh should come away from the skin easily, but it will go brown when exposed to air, so always prepare avocados just before serving or drench in lemon juice to prevent the browning. The trick is to combine avocado with ingredients that will enhance its nuttiness but cut back on its richness. Savour the pale flesh for breakfast or lunch by crushing it on toasted sourdough bread along with a squeeze of lime juice, sea salt and pepper. Or make it into a coarse salsa with tomatoes, onion, chilli, lime and coriander to accompany grilled meats. Alternatively, toss the creamy wedges gently in a salad with green leaves, crabmeat, spring onions and a little lemon.

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