All about avocado

Avocado, prawn and chilli tacos.
Corn tortillas ... Avocado, prawn and chilli tacos.

'Ave an avo and you'll make your friends green with envy, writes Justin North

What
These pear-shaped, mild-flavoured beauties are one of the most versatile fruits, native to Central and South America and central Mexico. In Australia they come in many varieties, with Hass generally being the most common option. With their rough, leathery and taut skin, large stone and velvet-smooth creamy flesh, avocados when ripe are just splendid.

Choose
Hass avocados are green when unripe and mature to a dark purple, almost black colour when ready. Other varieties are generally deep green when ripe. They should yield with firm but gentle pressure.

Store
Whole ripe avocados can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days. Avocado flesh darkens once cut, so leave the stone in them, drizzle with lemon juice and wrap in plastic. Store unripe avocados at room temperature.

Try
I love to smash avocado flesh with a fork and mix it with pickled jalapenos, cumin, coriander and lime for a rustic but lovely guacamole, served with corn chips or in a tortilla with spicy beans and yoghurt. I also love the combination of the rich, creamy texture of avocados with a lovely acidic dressing in a tossed autumn salad. The texture also lends itself very well to avocado gelato and ice-creams both savoury and sweet.


AVOCADO, PRAWN AND CHILLI TACOS

You can use flour tortillas but corn are favoured for their superior flavour. Heat the tortillas in a frying pan or grill on the barbecue for a smoky flavour - a personal favourite.

8 small corn tortillas

1 avocado

1 cup green cabbage, shredded

1 cup red cabbage, shredded

2 tbsp mayonnaise

juice of 1 lime

pinch salt flakes

16 cooked peeled prawns, de-veined

squirt hot chilli sauce (shop-bought is fine)

Serves 4

Warm tortillas on a griddle plate, barbecue or flash in microwave. Cut avocado in half, removing centre stone, then peel and slice flesh.

Mix together shredded cabbage, moisten with mayonnaise and lime juice, and season with a pinch of salt flakes. Add shredded cabbage mix to half of each tortilla, top with sliced avocado and prawns, drizzle with chilli sauce and fold to form a half-moon shape.

 

CEVICHE OF SNAPPER, AVOCADO AND CUCUMBER

I love this dish, as it's so refreshing and vibrant to eat. It's also lovely spiced with some extra chilli.

400g snapper fillets, skin and pin bones removed.

¼ cup coconut milk

juice and finely grated zest of 1 lime

pinch salt flakes

1 lebanese cucumber

1 avocado

¼ cup mint, torn

¼ cup coriander, torn

1 green chilli, finely sliced

Serves 4 as a substantial entrée or snack


Finely slice
snapper and place in a mixing bowl with coconut milk, a squeeze of fresh lime, a little lime zest and a pinch of salt flakes. Mix well, cover and refrigerate for an hour.

Meanwhile, finely slice lebanese cucumber and arrange on serving plates.

Cut avocado in half, removing centre stone, then peel and slice flesh. Toss with marinated snapper, torn herbs and green chilli, then arrange on cucumber and serve.

 

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