Celebrate California Avocado Month This June with Avocado Inspired Dishes
Great news for avocado lovers—June is officially California Avocado Month and the peak of California avocado season. That means now is the perfect time to enjoy the most delicious avocados of the year.
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Chef Jessica Koslow's California Avocado Cardamom Ice Cream (photo cred: California Avocado Commission)
In recognition of California Avocado Month, the California Avocado Commission (CAC) has partnered with chef Jessica Koslow of SQIRL in Los Angeles to showcase the versatility of everyone's favorite superfood in three new recipes created by her.
As the executive chef at one of Los Angeles' most beloved restaurants, Koslow specializes in California-casual cuisine that is equal parts delicious and Instagram-worthy. SQIRL's menu focuses on locally grown and seasonal ingredients. So, naturally, California avocados make appearances in an array of dishes that satisfy every type of foodie.
"We have California avocados on our menu from the moment they come into the market, and I savor them every day of the season. I love the summer months, as I get to incorporate fresh California avocados into everything I make. The creamy richness offers so many options, so I blend it into sauces, slice it up for a hearty topping or even use it in desserts," said Koslow.
Inspired by the premium quality avocados that are grown in California, Koslow developed three unique recipes that highlight the fruit's versatility.
First, Koslow's Crispy Potatoes with California Avocado Aioli plays on the tried-and-true juxtaposition of crispy with creamy. "Aioli and fried potatoes are a classic combination and adding California avocados just takes it all to another delicious level," said Koslow. "The fusion of the tangy garlic and the buttery flavor of avocados is simply magical."
Koslow also shared her recipe for SQIRL's popular Famous Damus Egg Sandwich. "The Famous Damus is named for one of my friends, who kept asking for an egg sandwich to be added to our menu. I wanted to create something simple, yet sophisticated, so I added prosciutto, arugula and, of course, California avocados. It's been a staple at the restaurant ever since," said Koslow.
Finally, just in time for summer, Koslow developed a delectable California Avocado Cardamom Ice Cream. "Incorporating California avocados into ice cream is a no-brainer – the creaminess of the fruit lends itself so well to this traditional dessert, yet the innovative flavor combination puts a whole new twist on this dessert," said Koslow.
Besides being a delicious addition to any meal through the season, California avocados contribute nearly 20 vitamins, minerals and beneficial plant compounds that can enhance the nutrient quality of your diet. They contribute good fats to one's diet, are naturally sodium and cholesterol-free and are all-around delicious.
In honor of California Avocado Month, Koslow's California Avocado Cardamom Ice Cream will be available at all three Salt & Straw locations (Studio City, Larchmont and Venice) in Los Angeles throughout the month of June. Additionally, Koslow will be featuring numerous California avocado-inspired items throughout SQIRL's menu for the month of June.
Other California avocado-loving chef partners also will be featuring California avocado-centric dishes, menus, and specials in their restaurants in cities throughout the country, including Los Angeles, New York, Sacramento, San Diego, Seattle and San Francisco.
For Koslow's and other chef partner's California avocados recipes, visit CaliforniaAvocado.com. Join in the California Avocado Month celebrations and follow along on Facebook at Facebook.com/CaliforniaAvocados, and on Twitter and Instagram at @ca_avocados
Crispy Potatoes with California Avocado Aioli
Recipe created by Jessica Koslow of SQIRL for the California Avocado Commission.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
- 1 1/2 lbs. peewee potatoes (red skinned, bananas, or a mix of both)
- 1/8 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 Tbsp. fleur de sel salt (such as Maldon)
- California Avocado Aioli (see make-ahead recipe, below)
1. Rinse and scrub potatoes. Fill a stockpot with water and a heavy hand of sea salt and place over a burner on high flame. (The water should taste salty).
2. When the water reaches a boil, slowly add the potatoes and turn heat down slightly. Cook the potatoes until tender, testing a potato by piercing it with a sharp knife. When the knife point easily makes its way through to the middle of the potato, it is done - about 10-15 minutes.
3. Drain potatoes in a colander and then transfer to a baking sheet lined with towels to cool.
4. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, flatten them (either with your hand, a towel underneath your hand or a spatula) down to about a 1/3-inch and let cool.*
5. Heat a cast-iron skillet to medium-high and add the canola oil and butter.** Test the oil with a small piece of potato---if it bubbles visually and audibly, then you can reduce the heat to medium and start frying the potatoes in spread-out layers.
6. Let each side cook, undisturbed, until it gets the crunchy caramelized color you know and love, about 7 minutes a side. Flip and continue on the other side.
7. Transfer finished potatoes to a tray lined with towels and immediately sprinkle with fleur de sel and a heavy squeeze of lemon.
8. Serve potatoes on a large platter with a generous bowl of California Avocado Aioli on the side. Enjoy!
*Chef's note: The longer you can let these flattened potatoes sit out, the more moisture they will lose and the crispier they will get when you go to fry them. I sometimes let my potatoes just sit in the fridge overnight. It's worth it.
**Chef's note: You can use just canola, I personally enjoy the flavor browned butter adds to the potato.
California Avocado Aioli
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/2 ripe, Fresh California Avocado, seeded and peeled
- 1 lemon, for squeezing
1. Using a mortar and pestle (or food processor)*, smash the garlic and salt together until smooth. Add the egg yolk and then pound with the pestle to break up the yolk.
2. Combine 1/2 cup olive oil and all the canola oil in a measuring cup that has a pouring spout. While constantly stirring the garlic-egg mixture with the pestle (or the food processor on low speed), slowly drizzle in a few drops of the blended oil. Keep stirring in the same direction as you add another few drops. You'll notice the aioli will begin to emulsify**; it will thicken and get sticky. Once it gets ribbony and tight, you will want to add a squeeze of lemon juice to loosen it up, although you don't have to.
3. Stay with this tempo, stirring and very, very slowly adding the oil, until you've added it all. It's important to drizzle in the oil in a slow, steady stream and it's also important to stir constantly but not too fast. If you're doing it in a mortar and pestle place a damp cloth underneath to keep the bowl stable.
4. Once you've added all the oil, taste the aioli and add a bit more salt and lemon juice for acid if it needs it. I always think it needs it.
5. Move aioli to a larger than needed bowl and clean out the food processor bowl.
6. Place the avocado into the mixer with a good pinch of salt, lemon juice, remaining tablespoon of oil and blend until smooth
7. With a spatula, lightly mix the avocado and aioli together as to not break the aioli, but to blend the avocado and aioli together.
*Chef's Note: It's possible to make aioli using a bowl and a whisk, or a food processor with a pour spout, or even an immersion blender. For the food processor, it'll work better if you double or even triple this recipe; one yolk isn't quite enough volume for the spinning blade to reach successfully.
**Chef's Note: Sometimes when you try to make aioli, it breaks. You'll know because the oil will separate from the yolk and the whole thing will look thin and not gloppy like mayonnaise. To fix this, crack a fresh egg yolk into a clean bowl. Transfer the broken aioli to a container that has a pouring spout. While stirring the new yolk, slowly—very, very slowly—add the broken aioli drop by drop, treating it as if it were the oil. You may need to add more oil after you've added all the broken aioli because now you're working with 2 yolks.
Famous Damus Breakfast Sandwich
Recipe created by Jessica Koslow of SQIRL for the California Avocado Commission
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
- 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 4 individual-size ciabatta rolls (rectangular is best)
- 2 ripe, fresh California avocados, seeded and peeled
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1/4 tsp. salt, divided
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 cup arugula
- 12 eggs
- 3 Tbsp. chives, finely chopped
- 8 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto, separated into 2-oz. portions
- Cracked pepper, to taste
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over medium-low.
3. While the butter is melting, cut the ciabatta rolls in half. Brush the melted butter on the insides of the bread.
4. Place bread on baking sheet with bread interiors facing upwards. Toast to perfection and place the toasts on four plates.
5. Set the avocado on a piece of parchment paper and cut each half lengthwise into thin slices. Cover with another piece of parchment and press down to flatten the avocado halves like slices of bologna.
6. In a small bowl, mix half the lemon juice and half of the salt, first to marry the salt and acid, followed by the oil. Then mix in the arugula lightly to flavor, not wilt.
7. Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat hard with a fork to aerate them. The color should turn to a pale yellow. Think Easter yellow!
8. Place the remaining butter into a nonstick pan set over medium-low heat. Once the butter has melted completely, pour in the beaten eggs and the remaining salt. Use a rubber spatula to push the eggs around constantly (the spatula should be moving quickly around the bottom of the pan) while shaking the pan back and forth, moving the pan on and off the heat.
9. This process will feel quite time consuming, but do not stop. It is worth it. If you shake the pan and move your spatula around quickly you will continue to pull the hottest eggs from the bottom of the pan and it will cook until there are lots of little, soft curds and the eggs look a bit like ricotta, scrambled but still very loose as they will continue to cook and not fully set, about 2 minutes.
10. Pull the eggs off the stove immediately and throw in the chives, mixing rapidly with the spatula. Then, evenly distribute the finely scrambled eggs between the four bottom pieces of toast.
11. On top of the eggs, place the prosciutto, followed by the thinly sliced avocado.
12. Season the avocado with freshly cracked pepper and the remaining lemon juice, and then add the greens and the top bun to close the sandwich. I use a steak knife to cut it…then make a mess!
California Avocado Cardamom Ice Cream
Recipe created by Jessica Koslow of SQIRL for the California Avocado Commission
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
- 1 1/2 tsp. cardamom seeds
- 3, ripe, fresh California Avocados, seeded and peeled
- 1 cup organic sweetened condensed milk
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup whole milk
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Toast cardamom seeds for 5 minutes.
3. Grind cardamom in a spice grinder and set aside
4. Place avocado, condensed milk, cream, milk, and ground cardamom seeds into a blender. Turn on to lowest setting and puree until smooth.
5. Transfer to an ice cream maker and freeze per machine's instructions.
Note: 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.
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 4,000 avocado growers. The California Avocado Commission serves as the official information source for California avocados and the California avocado industry. For nutrition information and recipes visit CaliforniaAvocado.com, or join us on Facebook at Facebook.com/CaliforniaAvocados and @CA_Avocados on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for updates.