A few weeks ago I heard the doorbell ring so I headed to see who it was. I was surprised by my mailman standing at the door with a box. The ground was blanketed by a foot or so of snow and he was bundled up to keep out the cold. He stood there on my stoop with a giant smile on his face and said “Why are you getting avocados in the mail?” He then proceeded to bribe me, jokingly, with not handing them over unless I gave him one. We both share a love of gardening and he often takes a handful or so of tomatoes from my summer garden on his way to the next house. So I wasn’t shocked by his facetious bribery. We chatted for a while about the weather, gardening, his family and my blog. I swear it wasn’t my diversion tactic to not share the green globes of goodness in that box, but he sauntered off forgetting all about his opening statement.
As the door closed, I bolted to the nearest sharp object to open the box. Inside was a layer of rafia and as I peeled it back, uncovered this….
20 beautiful avocados in varying varieties. They came to me via Virtual Potluck
from SoCal Avocados
a 25 acre ranch located in Southern California. Each one of these avocados were hand picked just for me. Not mass picked and stored, hand picked from the tree and packaged for me and me alone. That’s service! Its hard to decifer what was in this box from the photo but here’s the low down:
- Bacon – now how can you go wrong with an avocado named bacon? Right? Delish! and they don’t really taste like bacon.
- Fuerte – This one was so creamy. It was my fave for sure.
- Pinkerton – An interesting shape with a small seed. Delish as well
- Haas – We all know this one. It’s the usual suspect at the market, but SoCal’s tasted far superior to any I’ve ever purchased at the store.
So now that I have this box of 20 avocados, what do you do with them (besides eat them like candy). Well first I had to wait for a bit for them to ripen. The great thing about that was they all took varying times to ripen. So I wasn’t standing over 20 ripe avocados wondering what to do with them all at once.
We enjoyed them in a California Omelet one morning with local bacon and farm fresh eggs. We had delicious guacamole for our Super Bowl party. We ate them on tacos and sandwiches and sometimes just ate them to eat them. They really are that good. Last, but never least, we enjoyed them on a Grilled Shrimp Salad with my grandmothers famous French Dressing that’s made in a mason jar.
Alice’s Famous French Dressing
This French Dressing was a staple in my grandmothers house. She passed this recipe down to me and is now a family friendly in our home too.
- 1 10 oz can tomato soup
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups salad oil (such as canola)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon minced onion or shallot
- 1 teaspoon Dijon or prepared mustard
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 12 large shrimp, deveined and shelled
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 4 large handfulls of mixed greens
- 1 red pepper, julienned
- 6 large mushrooms, washed and sliced
- 4 green onions, sliced
- 2 ripe avocados, peeled and sliced
- 4 hard cooked eggs, peeled and quartered
- In a quart sized mason jar, add all French dressing ingredients. Shake vigorously to combine. Use immediately, or store in the refrigerator up to a month.
- In a small bowl, add the shrimp, salt and pepper, garlic, olive oil and lime juice. Toss to coat. Allow to marinate for 20-25 minutes. Meanwhile heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray and add the shrimp. Sear for 1 minute and flip. Grill for 1-2 minutes longer. Remove to a plate and allow to cool slightly.
To assemble the salad:
- Add the greens, red pepper, mushrooms and green onions to a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup of French dressing and toss lightly to coat. Plate the greens on 2 large plates. Divide the shrimp, avocado and hard cooked eggs onto each plate. Serve with extra dressing, if desired.
Recipe courtesy of www.farmgirlgourmet.com. Reprinting without permission is unethical.
Other great salad recipes: