I love avocados. It’s in my blood.
I am not saying there isn’t one out there, but I have yet to meet a Dominican that does not love them. And while everyones oohs and aahs over the smooth goodness of Mexican guacamole (I am partial to it myself), the way we Dominicans eat the fruit from heaven (did you know it is a fruit?) is a little simpler than that.
But first, let’s talk about this wonderful fruit.
Avocado (Persea americana) is a tree native to Mexico, belonging to the Lauraceae family, to which bay leaves, cinnamon and camphor tree belong too. The word avocado (aguacate, in Spanish) come from the Aztec word ahuácatl, that means testicle, a clear reference to the shape of the fruit, because no matter how fierce a warrior they were, they didn’t have them that big.
It will come to no surprise to those who have tried the buttery flavor of a good avocado that avocados are rich in fat. And although “fat” has become the new “f-word”, the fact is that the human body requires fat to function properly. The fat in avocado is the type recommended for optimum health benefits. Avocado is rich in “good cholesterol”, and preliminary studies indicate it might help maintain healthy levels of blood cholesterol.
Avocados have 35% more potassium than bananas, it is also rich in vitamins B, E and K.
No only is avocado a delicious substitute to similar food (I spread it on bread in lieu of butter), but it beats the alternatives.
You may have noticed that I am always trying to create healthier versions of traditional recipes, some of which are best left for special occasions. One of those recipes is our pasta salad, which is dressed with mayo (not the healthiest of fats. With a few changes here and there this new dish has the same creamy texture as the original, but with the delicious flavor provided by the avocado and a touch of lime juice.
This also makes a great summer light main dish.
This delicious pasta salad is a classic reinvented, with all the flavor of avocado to make it a lot lighter.
- 1/2 lb. of short pasta (macaroni, espirales, penne, etc.)
- 1/2 cup of green beans, boiled and cut into small pieces
- 1 carrot, peeled, boiled and cut into small cubes
- 1/2 cup of peas, blanched
- 1/4 cup of sweet corn, boiled
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil (optional)
- 1 large, ripe avocado
- A pinch of pepper
- Juice from a lime
- 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
- Boil the pasta following the instructions in the package, adding a teaspoon of salt to the water.
- Remove from the water, mix the oil and pasta.
- Add green beans, peas, carrot and corn to the pasta. Chill for an hour.
- Peel the avocado and cut into cubes. Mix with the pasta.
- Add the lime juice and cilantro.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately.