If you're looking for a dish that will make the sun shine (if only for a while) than you need to try this recipe because it's bursting with all the best summer flavours: tomatoes, jalapenos, cilantro and fresh lime juice. I can't remember the first time I made this avocado appetizer; it would have been many years ago. But it's been a summer favorite for a long time now because it's light, fresh and you feel like your laying under the warm desert sun of Mexico when eating it.
There's many different ways to put the cocktail together. You could have it as a light lunch served with salad greens. Or make as an appetizer to a Mexican dinner fiesta by cutting the avocado into quarters and serving on a plate, in a bowl or even in a margarita or martini glass. You can't go wrong however you serve it because the combination of flavours and that lingering taste in your mouth is the most impressive thing.
You could serve this with homemade sangria and black bean tacos with feta and cabbage slaw.
When it comes to buying avocados, like any produce, I find it always pays off to take a little extra time and care in picking the fruit. If you have foresight, it's a good idea to ripen avocados at home. If not, pick one that is slightly soft to the touch and has a darker shell. The brown stem should still be intact at one end. The best test for finding out if the avocado is good is by removing the stem to see if the flesh is green or has started turning brown. The one thing you don't want is one someone else has removed the stem on and decided to leave behind.
Needing a little pick-me-up after a somewhat uninspired week brought me to making this for lunch today. And now with a cup of coffee in hand, I'm starting to feel better. I can't wait for those really warm (and lazy) summer days: for that first trip to the lake or spending the whole day laying out in the backyard reading. But until than, I'll be content with an avocado cocktail.
Avocado Cocktail (serves 4)
2 ripe avocados
1 ripe tomato, diced
1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and diced
1/2 small red onion, diced
1-2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
juice of 1 lime
olive oil to drizzle
Mix together the diced tomato, jalapeno, onion and chopped cilantro. Add the lime juice just before serving.
Cut the avocado in half, and then peel and pit. Place avocado halves (or quarters) on a small plate or bowl, and fill the centers with the tomato mixture, allowing the mixture to spill over. Drizzle with olive oil and top with a pinch of good quality sea salt.