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Cookbook Shelf: Absolutely Avocados

An avocado seems to be a simple enough fruit. The ever-present Haas is small and neatly composed. You cut into it, slice it up, throw some lemon and salt on it and you’re good to go. If you’re really adventurous you may whip up some guacamole and watch your friends light up as you tell them its homemade. However, reading Gaby Dalkin’s Absolutely Avocados with photographs by Matt Armendariz, makes you realize this little gem of a superfood is as versatile as it is basic, and makes the reader feel as though they’ve uncovered a world of possibilities hidden in plain sight. 

Absolutley Avocados is sliced and diced into several chunks. We begin with everything you would ever need or want to to know about avocado basics, from how many types are available to how to cut one up, along with the fruit's surprising health benefits. Then we get to the meat of the matter: recipes! The chapters consist of Breakfast, Guacamole, Dips & Sauces, Appetizers, Wraps & Sandwiches, Salads, Meat, Fish, Vegetarian and Dessert. Every chapter begins with a brief overview and contains colorful and informative "fun facts" sprinkled throughout. Dalkin personalizes every recipe with a story about it’s creation or how it’s enjoyed in her home or among her friends, and her enthusiasm in contagious. The recipes themselves are straightforward and simple to make and include prep time, cook time and total servings.  At the end of the book, there is a helpful and detailed index where you can look something up by ingredient or recipe name.

Dalkin seems to have combined her culinary training, love of travel, and the immediacy of food blogging into this surprising and fun tome. She bounces back and forth moving the avocado to into different spaces on the dish. From a topping, to a secret ingredient, to main attraction. The recipes go where you think they can’t even if you already consider yourself an adventurous eater. Some surprising dishes include the Avocado Super Food Smoothie, Shrimp and Avocado Pasta, Panko-Parmesean Avocado Fries, and Avocado Coconut Ice Cream. She also introduces avocado to more international fare like in the Avocado Quiche Lorraine, Avocado Kopanisti, and the Open Faced Avocado Croque Monsieur, while also giving a new twist on some classics like Charred Corn Guacamole, Tropical Pineapple Salsa, Tlayuda: Mexican Pizza, Winter Citrus and Avocado Salad, and Chorizo Gravy Guacamole Loaded Nachos.

Absolutely Avocados, will make you feel as though you’ve traveled with an avocado around the world in 80 recipes and Matt Armendariz’s bright and nuanced photography make even the more surprising combinations of this multi faceted fruit look absolutely delectable. The simplicity of her recipes encourages the reader to consider the diversity of the dishes she has recreated by either adding avocado or using avocado as a substitute ingredient. Gaby Dalkin starts the book by telling us she ‘loves avocados. Yup, It’s true. I’m 100% avocado obsessed. Addicted. Completely in love.”  After reading though her work, her obsession seems completely justified.

Get a taste of avocados with these two recipes from Dalkin's delicious book.  Curious about Dalkin? We'll be catching up with the avocado-loving blogger next week!

Bacon, Avocado, and Corn Salad 

  • 5 strips thick-cut bacon
  • 4 ears corn, husks and silks removed
  • 2 ounces cotija cheese (feta cheese may be substituted)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 Hass avocado
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Get the full recipe.

 

Tostones with Chunky Avocado 

  • 2 ripe yellow to yellow-black plantains
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 Hass avocados
  • 1 ripe mango
  • 1 lemon , juiced
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Get the full recipe.

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