It's avocado season here in Israel, and to celebrate, a couple of weeks ago we bought a case of rock-hard avocados to enjoy over Passover.
My grandchildren, for example, love to cut them in half and scoop out the inside with a spoon straight into their mouths for a healthful snack. Avocados are a good source of fiber, potassium and vitamins.
Although half an avocado has 160 calories, it has 15 grams of heart-healthy unsaturated fat, and only 2 grams of saturated fat. A whole avocado contains more than one-third the daily requirement of vitamin C, and more than half the day’s requirements of vitamin K.
Spread it on matzah (or later, bread), with sliced tomato and/or green onion; or stir it into your scrambled eggs. This versatile fruit finds its way into every part of a meal from soup to nuts.
Want to keep your cut avocado from turning brown? It seems that the trick is to keep it covered to prevent the oxidation that gives cut or mashed avocado an unappetizing brown look. Take your pick of all or any of the following solutions: Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Store mashed avocado with the pit in the middle. Add lots of lemon juice.
And don’t forget to save the pits to grow beautiful houseplants that often reach over a foot high.
1 grilled eggplant
2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted
2 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 medium onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, cubed
1⁄2 to 1 cup chopped cilantro
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, minced (optional)
juice of 1⁄2 a lemon
2 Tbsps. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Pierce the eggplant in several places. Wrap in aluminum foil and grill on medium heat on a stovetop burner, turning to reach all sides.
Let cool and scrape out pulp.
Combine all ingredients to taste. Store in refrigerator as above.
Makes 6 to 8 side dish servings.
Avocado-Vegetable Stuffed Pita
4 pitas, split open
2 avocados, peeled, seeded and mashed
1 cup cubed feta cheese
1⁄2 cup fresh mushrooms, cleaned, sliced
1⁄2 cup red bell peppers
marinated sun dried tomatoes (to taste)
salt and pepper to taste
Spread the avocado on both sides of pita. Layer on the remaining ingredients.
5 hard-boiled eggs, diced
1⁄3 cup diced onions
1⁄4 cup diced celery
1⁄2 cup mashed avocado
paprika, salt and pepper to taste
Combine the eggs, onions, celery and avocado. Stir until well mixed. Add paprika, pepper and salt to taste.
1 cup water
1⁄4 cup sugar
2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and cubed
juice and finely grated rind of 1 lemon
1-2 Tbsps. honey
Stir the water and sugar together over medium heat in a small saucepan until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool.
Place the avocado cubes in the bowl of a food processor. Add the sugar water, lemon juice and rind and honey. Process until smooth. Taste to see if more honey is needed.
Transfer mixture to a metal baking dish. Cover tightly and freeze. Half an hour before serving, break up sorbet and blend once again in food processor. Serve immediately.