The Golden State and its farmers have garnered a delicious reputation for the fresh fruits and crisp vegetables they produce locally. Springtime is when many of those products reach the peak of their seasons, including the heart-healthy su-perfood California avocados, which are only available now through late summer.
The benefits of eating in season are bountiful. By selecting foods that are grown in abundance and locally sourced, you’re getting produce that is freshly picked and at its best flavor, while also supporting local communities and minimizing the impact of long-distance transportation.
As part of the program, Chef Mike Fagnoni, executive chef and co-owner of Sacramento’s Hawks Provisions and Pub-lic House, created two dishes bursting with fresh flavors that consumers can create at home.
“As a California chef, I try to craft my restaurants’ menus around what’s in season locally, as it ensures we’re using the freshest and best-tasting ingredients,” said Fagnoni. “Now that California avocados have arrived, I’ll be incorporating them into a number of dishes because their creamy texture truly elevates any recipe.”
California Avocado & Lemon Crème Fraîche Soup
Recipe created by Chef Mike Fagnoni of Hawks Provisions and Public House for the California Avocado Commission
Prep time: 3 hours and 30 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 3 hours and 40 minutes
1 cup English peas, shucked, plus extra for garnish
4 ripe, Fresh California Avocados, seeded, peeled & halved
1 cup half-and-half
½ cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
½ tsp. sea salt, or to taste
3 Tbsp. crème fraîche or sour cream
1 Tbsp. Preserved Lemon (make-ahead recipe below)
1. Place peas in a small pot of boiling water for about 2 minutes. Drain the peas, refresh them in a bowl of ice water and set aside.
2. Place avocados in a blender with the half-and-half and ¾ cup of the peas.
3. Puree on high speed, adding 6 Tbsp. of oil in a thin stream to emulsify.
4. Season with salt, pass the mixture through a fine sieve and set aside.
5. Place the crème fraîche in a small mixing bowl with the preserved lemon and mix thoroughly.
6. Place the remaining ¼ cup of peas into another bowl and season with 1 Tbsp. oil.
7. Serve the soup in small soup bowls and top with crème fraîche mixture in the center. Sprinkle each bowl with peas for garnish and drizzle with remaining oil.
Yields: ¼ cup
1 medium lemon
½ Tbsp. sea salt
½ tsp. chili flakes
½ tsp. coriander seed
Preserved Lemon Instructions:
1. Wash the lemon with hot water, peel the skin and juice the lemon into a small mixing bowl.
2. Mix the lemon juice with salt, chili flakes and coriander seed.
3. Add the lemon peels into the mixing bowl and refrigerate for 3 hours, up to 5 days.
4. Upon serving, rinse the lemon peels once more and mince finely.
California Avocado and Roasted Beet Salad
Recipe created by Chef Mike Fagnoni of
Hawks Provisions and Public House for the
California Avocado Commission
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
6 fresh baby beets
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 navel oranges
½ cup mixed olives (such as Kalamata, black, green and Picholine)
1 small clove garlic, peeled
3 ripe, Fresh California Avocados, seeded, peeled and quartered
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and drizzle beets with 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Roast beets for 10−15 minutes, until fork ten-der. Remove the beets from the oven and slice into quarters.
2. Zest 1 orange and set zest aside. Peel and segment both oranges and reserve.
3. To make Olive Tapenade: place olives, half the zest, 2 Tbsp. olive oil and garlic in a food processor and blend until mixture is finely chopped.
4. To serve, spoon Olive Tapenade evenly at the bottom of each dish. Arrange beets, avocados and oranges on the tapenade, then top salad with remaining olive oil and zest.