Fresh Fridays


fresh figs

 Avocado Time     


May is the time to celebrate many things. Here at Oldways, it's National Mediterranean Diet Month. We hope you will visit our new web page and spend some extra time thinking about Mediterranean foods and flavors, and ways to inspire your family and friends to adopt this healthy eating pattern.


It's also a time to rejoice in the fact that you can finally find California avocados in supermarkets from coast to coast. (The season runs from now to early fall.) Avocados in California are grown by nearly 5,000 farmers who plant, tend, and harvest their trees by hand. These lovely green, creamy, plump and delicious fruits, which we usually categorize as vegetables, are nutrition powerhouses, delivering nearly 20 vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, as well as fiber, potassium, and healthy fats.


Since they're typically eaten fresh, their important nutrients aren't lost in processing or heating. Beneficial carotenoids are concentrated in the dark green part closest to the peel, so be sure to "nick and peel" an avocado to get every bit of its goodness - or simply cut it in half and eat it with a spoon, scooping all the way down to the peel. 


There are so many ways to enjoy avocados throughout the day! Pit and devour plain; mash and spread on toast; use to top baked potatoes or stuff hard-boiled eggs; add them to vegetable, fruit, and grain salads; fill them with rice and olives; serve as a side with eggs; or puree for a unique dessert treat.


Here are a few recipes to get you started.  



Couscous with Avocado, Mango and Shrimp  & Mango-Lime Dressing 

Serves 4  


Here's a hearty salad that makes a great dinner meal. Enjoy the leftovers for lunch. 



24 large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 tablespoon seafood seasoning

Olive oil, optional

2 cups water

1(10-oz.) box plain couscous

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

2 ripe avocados, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted and cut into 1-inch cubes

2 green onions, thinly sliced on diagonal

1 cup cooked edamame (shelled soybeans)



Toss the shrimp with the seasoning. Barbecue or sauté in olive oil for about 3 minutes, turning over once. Remove to plate and set aside. In a 2-quart pan, bring the water to a boil. Stir in the couscous, olive oil and salt. Remove from the heat, cover, and let stand for 5 minutes. In a bowl, combine the avocado and lemon juice; set aside. Remove the lid from the pan and fluff the couscous; cool. Pour the couscous into a large mixing bowl. Add the avocado, mango, onions and edamame.

Make the dressing (see recipe below). Pour the dressing over the salad, as needed. Toss to coat. Serve on plates and top with cooked shrimp.


Mango-Lime Dressing 

1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted and cut into 1-inch cubes

½ cup fresh lime juice

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon ground white or black pepper

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

2 tablespoons snipped fresh mint leaves

2 tablespoons snipped fresh cilantro leaves


In a food processor, combine the mango, lime juice, olive oil, garlic, mustard, salt, pepper and cumin.   


Nutrition Analysis: 

Calories: 270, Fat: 16g, Sodium 560mg, Carbohydrate: 25g, Protein: 9g 


Recipe courtesy of the California Avocado Commission



Avocado Bisque with Tarragon    

Serves 4-6         


Enjoy this beautiful, refreshing soup hot or cold. 



1 quart milk

1/3 cup chopped fresh tarragon

1 teaspoon salt

4 avocados

1-1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/3 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

Plain Greek yogurt, as needed, for garnish

Fresh tarragon leaves, as needed for garnish 



Combine the milk, chopped tarragon, and salt in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer. (Do not boil). Remove from the heat and let stand for 1 hour. When the milk is ready, puree the avocado and lemon juice until smooth and whisk into the milk. Stir in the cayenne.  


Chill at least 2 hours to marry the flavors. Then serve, or slowly reheat to enjoy hot. Garnish the soup with a swirl of Greek yogurt and fresh tarragon leaves.


Nutrition Analysis: 

Calories: 285, Fat: 21g, Sodium 447mg, Carbohydrate: 20g, Protein: 8g 


Recipe courtesy of California Avocado Commission


Glazed Salmon with Avocado Slaw 

Serves 4   


While salmon makes the perfect centerpiece for a Mediterranean meal, this recipe borrows some flavors from traditional Asian cooking. Go fusion! 



1 clove garlic, peeled

1 teaspoon peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger

2 ½ tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon sesame oil

¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

4 salmon filets (3-4 ounces each)

¼ cup sliced water chestnuts, cut into thin strips

1 medium carrot, shredded

1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

3 cups shredded Napa cabbage

Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

1 ripe avocado, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch cubes



Combine the soy sauce, garlic, ginger, honey, sesame oil, vinegar, and olive oil in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth and creamy.


Place the salmon filets in a shallow dish and pour half the soy sauce mixture over top, turning the filets to coat on all sides. Set aside.


Combine the water chestnuts, carrot, bell pepper, and cabbage in a medium bowl and toss with the remaining soy sauce mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Add the avocado and toss to combine. Set aside.


Heat small amount of olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Cook the salmon skin-side up until nicely browned, about 6 minutes. Turn the salmon over and cook until it is cooked through, about 6 minutes more. Arrange the salmon on plates and spoon the slaw over the top. 


Nutrition Analysis: 

Calories: 390, Fat: 17g, Sodium 380mg, Carbohydrate: 26g, Protein: 32g  


Recipe courtesy of California Avocado Commission.  

Fresh Fridays is a bi-weekly celebration of Mediterranean eating and living.  We hope our Friday recipes will remind you just how easy and delicious eating the Mediterranean way can be.

Visit the
MFA website
to find even more delicious Mediterranean recipes.