The menu at the inn’s restaurant was a great mix of Spanish and Italian-influenced dishes. They were incredibly accommodating as well. My husband is a vegan, and they were happy to prepare separate, off-the-menu dishes for him. While I am moving towards a vegan diet, I took the opportunity to taste a few dishes on the menu that contained dairy and seafood. One of my favorites was “Aguacate relleno de pulpa de cangrejo gratinado,” or “Puréed avocado stuffed with crab au gratin.” We’ll call it Avocado-Crab Gratinée.
I couldn’t wait to come home and try to prepare the dish myself. Elena was nice enough to share the recipe with me and both avocados and dungeness crabs happen to be in season right now. This dish is so easy to prepare, you could easily whip it up for weeknight treat for two.
Author: Amy Wilson adapted from Hotel Rural La Paloma
Recipe type: Appetiser
1 ripe California Grown Avocado
Salt and pepper to taste
3 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
2 oz lump crabmeat
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the broiler. Cut the avocado in half. Discard the pit, but reserve the skins. Empty the flesh into a microwave-safe bowl. Mash it with a fork it and add salt and pepper, combining well. Add the heavy cream and the crabmeat and mix well with a fork. If the mixture is too thick, add additional heavy cream.
Warm the mixture in the microwave for 1 minute. Add the grated Parmesan cheese to the mixture and stir it in completely. Spoon the mixture either back into the two empty avocado halves or into one or two small oven-safe dishes. Sprinkle additional Parmesan cheese on top.
Bake under the broiler for a couple of minutes until the cheese has browned slightly. Serve immediately.
In late May, the California Avocado Commission hosted a dinner at One Market in San Francisco for a small group of members of the food media. The five-course tasting menu was prepared by Mark Dommen, chef-partner at One Market. We were invited to taste the wide variety of flavors and textures avocados can provide and to learn a little something about how they are grown. Did you know that avocados are in season in California for a full seven months? March through September. And did you know that California grows 90% of our nation’s avocados? For tips on how to best select and store an avocado, check out the avocado commission website.
I must admit. I am a fairly recent avocado convert. Growing up in Maryland in the eighties, I didn’t see an avocado until I was at least 20, so I was a little bit scared of them until recently. Ten years in California have warmed me up to them and now I can barely eat a veggie burger without smooshing avocado slices on top. The avocado commission dinner was well-timed for me. You could say I was ripe for it.
Here’s what was on the menu:
Chilled California Avocado & Pea Soup with Smoked Sable Fish and Shiso