In Season: Avocado, Spring through Fall

I grew up in California, land of the avocado. That state grows up to 90% of the avocados we eat in this country, so this vegetal fruit was nothing special to me while growing up. I had it sliced on salads; wedges were slipped into my BLTs, making the acronym longer, but all the more delicious.

When I met my husband he was living in a railroad flat in East Oakland that was in need of more than a little TLC. On my first visit, I was led through the handful of rooms, each with creaky floorboards and paint peeling from the walls. As I exited the final room, which opened on to a luscious yet overgrown garden, I spotted an avocado tree in the corner of the garden.

The tree was squat and the boughs were heavy with fruit. Avocados hung poised for the picking. Many had fallen from the tree, and littered the ground like Easter eggs. I learned that my husband would carry his pieces of morning toast out to the garden. He would pick an unblemished avocado that had fallen from the tree, cut into it, and scoop the flesh on to his pieces of toast. That sounded like a pretty good way to start the day off to me.

My husband didn't stay in that flat for long. His next place had straight floorboards and an even paintjob. That was years ago. Now we're married, and living clear across the country from that ramshackle apartment, but we still remember that avocado tree fondly.


It seems that everyone has his or her own guacamole recipe. This is mine. It's straightforward, fairly traditional, and a favorite way to cook with avocados.

3 avocados
1/2 cup diced tomatoes, seeded and cored
1/4 cup white onion, minced
juice of one lime
1/2 teaspoon jalapeno, minced

Cut each avocado in half. Discard the seeds, scoop out the flesh, and place in a small mixing bowl. With a fork, loosely mash the avocado.

Add the tomato, onion, lime juice, and jalapeno. Mix thoroughly, and season well with salt. Enjoy with tortilla chips.

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