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Going Green

Chef Linda Weiss, February 12, 2010

Yesterday morning, Steve and I woke up to another cold and rainy day. Instead of staying home all day and watching the rain drizzle down the windowpanes, we decided to go out for lunch to a newly opened Mexican restaurant in Mount Pleasant.  We had eaten there once before and had great food and service.  This day, I felt like ordering something with a lot of flavor so I ordered guacamole as a side dish to the special of the day. I barely touched my luncheon entrée, but totally devoured the guacamole and a basket of warm chips that were placed on the table to accompany this delicious treat.

Thinking about avocados brought me back an afternoon that I spent with my friends, Tim & Jim, who own a colonial farm house in the north Georgia mountains. Their home is filled with magnificent artwork and wonderfully textured designer fabrics. I’ve been there many times and every time I go, I feel so privileged to have been invited.

This beautiful summer afternoon, Jim made a delightful luncheon of fettuccini, freshly grated parmesan and sliced avocado, served with a glass of crisp white wine. With our white linen napkins on our laps, sitting out near the pool, this was one of the simplest, most elegant and delicious luncheons shared with friends, and I shall not forget this wonderful meal, nor shall I forget my longtime friends.

From an elegant, simple luncheon of fettuccini and avocado, to a marinated shrimp dish with avocado and lime, and a casual spread of goat cheese and salsa, avocados are a versatile food.

Good for your heart and good for your soul, here are a couple of recipes using avocado that were shared with me, and I hope you will make them and enjoy them too.

Now I have a favor of you- if any of our readers have a good guacamole recipe, I’d love to have it. Could you share it with me at [email protected]? Thanks so much in advance.  

Baked Goat Cheese, Salsa and Avocado

1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese
1 (4-ounce) log goat cheese
1 cup good salsa, (drained if watery)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro (you can substitute freshly chopped Italian parsley for cilantro)
Tortilla chips (warmed in the oven at a low temperature)
1 ripe avocado, cut 1/2 inch dice
Fresh lime juice to taste

Preheat oven to 350°.  In a medium bowl, add the cheeses and thoroughly combine. Place the cheeses into the center (about a 5-inch disk) of a pie plate. Spoon the salsa over and around the cheese. Bake until heated through, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven. Spoon the chopped avocado into a bowl and sprinkle with lime juice to taste. Mix well to distribute the lime juice. Place the diced avocado around the edge of the cheese mixture. Sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with warmed chips. Serves 4-6.

Marinated Shrimp with Avocado Sauce

1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
Zest of 1 orange
Olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro (you can substitute freshly chopped Italian parsley for cilantro)
Salt and pepper

Combine shrimp with cumin, chili powder, paprika, orange juice, orange zest, olive oil, and cilantro. Add salt and pepper to taste. Thread shrimp onto skewers that have been soaked in cold water for 30 minutes. Place shrimp on a pan and broil for a few minutes on each side. Serve with avocado dipping sauce. Serves 4.

Avocado Sauce

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 ripe avocado
1/2 onion, finely chopped
Juice of 1/2 lime
Salt and pepper

Dice avocado and immediately combine with cilantro, onion, and lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Visit Chef Linda at her website:
and her blog:
Linda’s first book, Memories From Home, Cooking with Family & Friends
is available at or at her website.

All articles are copyrighted and remain the property of the author.

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