Did you know there are avocados that do not turn brown when you cut them? They are also as big as a baby’s head and full of buttery deliciousness. They are called Reed avocados and I’ve never seen them before.
That is a salad serving bowl, and three avocados and a mango are overflowing the bowl.
If you go to the Irvine Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings, Jerry at the avocado and mango stand will tell you all about them, and give you a sample. With a smile.
He will also tell you that they aren’t truly ripe until their bottoms are a little soft – don’t be fooled by soft sides. Its the soft bottoms that matter.
Jerry’s mangoes are fantastic too – huge and sweet and firm. I feel an avocado-mango salsa is in my near future.
Avocado Mango Salsa
Dice equal-ish amounts of avocado and mango and place in the bowl. Add the juice of 2-3 limes, a handful of chopped cilantro, salt (course is great) and a chopped jalapeño pepper (optional) for a little kick. Stir and enjoy! I have no idea how long this keeps because it never lasts more than an hour or two at my house. Its great over grilled chicken or fish, in a fish taco, on a black bean veggie burger, in a taco salad…
They are so sweet, yet a little tangy, and juicy as all get out but not mushy at all. They are mostly plum, with a little apricot. Its like nature picked the smooth skin, juiciness and sweetness of a plum and combined it with the firm texture and golden color of an apricot.
They are the kind of fruit where you put it in your mouth and time stops.
What else make it into my bag? Salad greens that last a full week because they are so fresh, chard so big it barely fit in my bag, and grapes that taste like grapes used to when we were kids. Also a freshly baked baguette (please don’t judge me) and some small Candy beets I can’t wait to try in a salad.
Something meaningful happens when we connect with the people who grow our food. We are part of something bigger than ourselves and the food tastes better. I believe its also more nourishing.
None of these foods takes long to prepare. That’s the key to getting out of the kitchen quickly – start with great ingredients and let them shine.
If you haven’t yet discovered the joys of the Farmer’s Market, here are a few tips for a successful trip:
- Go with a friend – good food is always best when shared.
- Bring a few tote bags with you. Some vendors don’t have plastic bags, and you want to look like this isn’t your first rodeo.
- Ask for a taste if you aren’t sure about an item or you’ve never tried it before. Farmers love sharing what they have grown and they will be happy to answer any questions you have. They will also teach you how to pick the ripest ones.
- Be flexible in your food choices. Sometimes the produce that looks best isn’t what you had in mind for your menu. Change your plans and take advantage of what’s freshest.
- Don’t buy more than what you’ll eat in a week. Its tempting to load up on everything you see, but go in with an idea of how much your family eats.
I can’t wait to hear about your Farmer’s Market adventures. Let me know what you found, what you love, and what I really need to try.