Kris Yenbamroong cooked for himself often as a kid while his parents were working at the family’s L.A. restaurant, Talésai. He made avocado toast a lot, in different ways. “Sometimes I’d use that Taco Night cheese you get at the supermarket and put the whole thing in the toaster oven,” he says.
Black Bean Soup with Avocado, Orange, and Cucumber
This Southwestern-inspired soup hits all the right notes: solid protein from the beans, crunchiness from the cucumber, creaminess from the avocado, a sweet hit of acidity from the citrus, and a hint of spice.
It’s one of the oldest healthy food hacks in the book: Drink your greens. But Amanda Frederickson (@amandafrederickson), a professional cook and food stylist in L.A., and nutritionist friend Kelly LeVeque (bewellbykelly.com) have come up with an intriguingly delicious version of the classic green smoothie. It’s also packed with lots of protein and healthy fats—safeguarding you against unhealthy grazing later on. “It keeps me full for hours,” says Frederickson.
Grilled Cilantro Chicken with Pickled Tomato and Avocado Salsa
There might not be a more popular chicken recipe in the Sunset archives. This sweet and spicy dish from chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger was first published in 2009, and it remains a clear favorite among staff and readers alike.
Baking eggs is fast, easy, and delicious. You can cook them in ramekins, of course, but it’s especially fun to make them in edible containers. That twist makes them special enough for lunch or dinner, not only breakfast. All three recipes work for a crowd, too—just increase the amounts in direct proportion to people.
You know bacon and avocado play well together from such sandwiches as the BLT. But this recipe amps up the delectable duo by adding extra protein and more complex flavor. Marinate and grill a slab of tofu and slide it into a ciabatta roll along with the vegetables and bacon. Sriracha and a drizzle of the ginger-soy marinade pack extra punch.
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Photo by Thomas J. Story; written by Julie Chai
Avocado, Grapefruit, and Shiso Salad
The warm anise flavor of shiso, encouraged by the licoricey fennel, comes through clearly in this pretty salad. You can use either red or green shiso (red is slightly stronger in flavor) or a combination.
Avocado adds a rich flavor while wasabi mayonnaise kicks up the heat in this easy-to-prepare dish. Pile on pieces of grilled salmon and stuff into a pita pocket for a quick meal that is sure to be a family favorite.
“You might think you can’t bring fresh thing backpacking,” says Aimee Trudeau of Dirty Gourmet. “But kale, lemon, and avocado keep a long time.” When we’re in town, we like to keep their kale salad sandwiches in mind for brown-bag lunches, too.
How to get the most from your avocado: flavor and beauty
1) Use it when it’s just ripe. How to tell? Squeeze it with your whole hand; it should have the same “give” as chilled butter.
2) Preserve the tastiest part, the dark green layer under the skin. First, remove the pit: Cut lengthwise around the middle to the center and twist halves apart. Thunk a chef’s knife into pit and twist to pull out. To get pit off, slide against inner rim of kitchen sink. If you’re mashing the avocado, scrape it out with a spoon. If you want beautiful, perfect slices and dice, score skin down center with a paring knife and carefully pull off peel.
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Grow your own avocados
Instead of sprouting an avocado pit like a preschool project ― the resulting harvest, if any, will take at least 5 years and may not taste very good in the end ― buy a young tree.
You can grow a Hass in Sunset climate zones 16, 17, 19, 21, 23, and 24; for zone explanations and complete growing instructions, see the Sunset Western Garden Book or sunset.com/climatezones.
Along with an appropriate climate, give your tree enough space (canopies can spread 30 feet); excellent drainage; and enough water so that soil is moist but not wet.