Chef Brad Cecchi Shares the Perfect Dishes for All Your Summer Events

IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–With longer days and warmer nights, entertaining becomes almost inevitable during the summer months. Thanks to the abundance of fresh produce, like California avocados, your backyard barbeques, pool parties and beachside picnics will never have to sacrifice versatility or taste.

For the 2019 season, the California Avocado Commission (CAC) sought the help of Michelin-recognized chef, Brad Cecchi, Executive Chef and Partner of Canon, a fine-dining destination of burgeoning East Sacramento, to develop shareable dishes starring fresh, California avocados. Because summertime offers the perfect opportunity to gather friends and family around the table, Cecchi’s two unique recipes make it easy for any at-home chef to fire up the grill and replicate.

Avocado

Originally from Sacramento, Cecchi takes full advantage of the region’s remarkable access and robust quality of fruits and vegetables, especially fresh, California avocados – available now through late summer. “With my roots so deeply embedded in California’s central valley, I’ve always been committed to cooking with the fruits and vegetables that our neighboring communities grow,” said Cecchi. “California avocados are currently at their peak, so I’m taking full advantage of their availability and unmistakable flavor to spotlight on my seasonal menus.”

Cecchi’s newest creations: Quinoa Crusted California Avocado Salad and Grilled Trout with California Avocado Watermelon Slaw and Green Goddess Dressing, highlight two very unique ways to cook with the heart-healthysuperfood. The first juxtaposes the creamy avocado with a crunchy quinoa crust; while the second pairs a juicy citrus slaw alongside the smooth, herbaceous dressing. Both dishes easily elevate any summer get-together. Plus one-third of a medium avocado (50 g) has 80 calories and contributes nearly 20 vitamins and minerals making it a nutrient-dense choice. Additionally, California avocados are naturally sodium-, cholesterol- and trans fat-free.

For Cecchi’s California avocado creations, other seasonal recipes and more, visit CaliforniaAvocado.com/recipes, and follow along on Facebook at Facebook.com/CaliforniaAvocados, and on Twitter and Instagram at @ca_avocados.

QUINOA CRUSTED CALIFORNIA AVOCADO SALAD

Recipe created by Chef Brad Cecchi of Canon East Sacramento for the California Avocado Commission

Serves: 8

Prep time: 45 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Total time: 1 hour and 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Avocado Brine (see make ahead recipe below)
  • 4 firm-ripe, Fresh California Avocados, seeded, peeled and halved
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup red quinoa
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon zest
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups canola or vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 2 medium heirloom tomatoes or beefsteak tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Tomato Relish (see make ahead recipe below)
  • 4 basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 4 dill sprigs, finely chopped
  • 4 parsley leaves, finely chopped

Instructions:

  1. Soak halved avocados in Avocado Brine for 20 minutes.
  2. While avocados are soaking, bring water to boil, add quinoa and cook for 10 minutes. Drain and allow to cool.
  3. Remove avocados from brine and thoroughly dry.
  4. In large mixing bowl, mix flour, paprika, black pepper and lemon zest.
  5. In another mixing bowl, gently beat the eggs.
  6. Coat each avocado half in the seasoned flour then coat in egg mixture, followed by the quinoa last. Set aside.
  7. Heat canola or vegetable oil to 350 degrees F in a large pan and place the crusted avocado halves in to fry for about 3 minutes.
  8. Remove avocados, place on a wire rack or on a paper towel to dry and set aside. Cut each piece in half lengthwise.
  9. Cut tomatoes into large pieces and season with olive oil.
  10. Evenly spread a layer of the Tomato Relish on each plate.
  11. Evenly place tomatoes on plates and add two 2 quarters of Quinoa Crusted Avocados.
  12. Sprinkle the salad with the fresh basil, dill and parsley and serve.

Avocado Brine Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. sea salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup lime juice

Avocado Brine Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small pot and bring to boil for five minutes.
  2. Remove the brine from heat and let sit until room temperature.
  3. Set aside until ready for use.

Tomato Relish Ingredients:

  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 Tbsp. Calabrian chiles or red serrano peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 cups vine ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar

Tomato Relish Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. In a large oven-safe pot, cook the onions, garlic, peppers and 1/4 cup of olive oil on medium heat until deeply caramelized, about 20-30 minutes.
  3. Add chiles, coriander and oregano and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes to the mixture and place in the oven for 45 minutes or until the mixture cooks down.
  5. Add remaining olive oil and vinegar and let cool to room temperature.
  6. Set aside until ready to serve.

GRILLED TROUT WITH CALIFORNIA AVOCADO WATERMELON SLAW AND GREEN GODDESS DRESSING

Recipe created by Chef Brad Cecchi of Canon East Sacramento for the California Avocado Commission

Serves: 4

Prep time: 55 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  1. 4 whole trout, cleaned, de-scaled, deboned and halved
  2. Cooking spray (for grilling)
  3. 2 tsp. sea salt
  4. California Avocado Green Goddess Dressing (see make ahead recipe below)
  5. California Avocado and Watermelon Slaw (make ahead recipe below)

Instructions:

  1. Remove head and tail from each fish.
  2. Preheat charcoal grill for up to 20 minutes or turn gas grill on high.
  3. Season each trout with salt and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Spray the grill and each trout with cooking spray to avoid sticking.
  5. Place each trout on flesh side down for 3 minutes, then flip and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
  6. Repeat step 4 two additional times, 2 minutes on each side.
  7. To serve, plate the fish with the flesh side up, drizzle with California Avocado Green Goddess Dressing and the California Avocado Watermelon Slaw evenly.

California Avocado Green Goddess Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe, Fresh California Avocado, quartered, seeded and peeled
  • 2 Tbsp. sour cream
  • 1/2 lime, juiced and zested
  • 2 Tbsp. basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. parsley leaves, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. tarragon leaves, chopped
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1 small shallot, peeled and quartered
  • 1 cornichon or small sweet pickle, quartered
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt, or to taste

California Avocado Green Goddess Dressing Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix until completely smooth.
  2. Set aside until ready to serve.

Pickled Watermelon Ingredients:

  • 1 cup watermelon rinds or firm honeydew, skinned and sliced thinly
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/4 Fresno chile, sliced thinly
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. fish sauce or Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • 1/2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar

Pickled Watermelon Instructions:

  1. Place watermelon rinds, garlic and chile in a bowl.
  2. Bring lime juice, fish sauce, water vinegar and sugar to a boil and pour over the watermelon mixture.
  3. Let cool and set aside until ready for serving.

California Avocado Watermelon Slaw Ingredients:

  • 1 firm-ripe, Fresh California Avocado, seeded, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup diced watermelon
  • Pickled Watermelon

California Avocado Watermelon Slaw Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, gently mix the sliced avocado, diced watermelon and Pickled Watermelon. If you would like to loosen the slaw, more pickling liquid can be added.
  2. Set aside until ready to serve.

**Large avocados are recommended for these recipes. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.

About the California Avocado Commission

Created in 1978, the California Avocado Commission strives to enhance the premium positioning of California avocados through advertising, promotion and public relations, and engages in related industry activities. California avocados are cultivated with uncompromising dedication to quality and freshness, by more than 3,000 growers in the Golden State. The California Avocado Commission serves as the official information source for California avocados and the California avocado industry. Visit CaliforniaAvocado.com, or join us on Facebook at Facebook.com/CaliforniaAvocados and @CA_Avocados on TwitterPinterest and Instagram for updates.

Contacts

Brittney Theriault
BTheriault@Golin.com
213-335-5551

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