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Happiness Is a Ripe Avocado

How can the "greatest city in the world" be bereft of decent quality avocados? I have no idea. This is why I left New York for California. Well, there were a few other reasons. But certainly liberating our larder from overly expensive, rock-hard avocados that mocked our guacamole-eating needs was a significant one. Imagine my jubilation when I cut into this perfect, pliant fruit within a few days of arriving on the Best Coast:

Our avocado consumption has since gone up immeasurably, and with this plenty come novel ways to enjoy them. Here's an avocado appetizer recipe we tried with the 2010 Iron Horse Heritage Clone Chardonnay, a breathtaking pairing. The wine tasted like biting into a cool, juicy custard apple; the finish unfolded on my palate in waves of cream and tropical fruit. You'll want a chair nearby when you take your first sip, and a table set by said chair with my Warmed Avocado with Aged Goat Cheese, possibly the easiest thing I've ever created that tastes so decadent.

Warmed Avocado with Aged Goat Cheese

Serves 2 as an appetizer



  1. Place a rack in the second position from the top in your oven. Turn your broiler on low.
  2. Halve the avocado and take the pit out by whacking the center of the pit with a sharp, non-serrated knife. The knife should pierce the pit by a few centimeters and then you can easily twist the pit out.
  3. Sprinkle the avocado halves with sea salt so it's lightly coated. Be sure to get some flakes into the well of the pit, too.
  4. Carefully pour lime juice over an avocado half; your goal it to melt the salt with a thin layer of lime juice. I found that it works best to coat one half first and then pour the excess lime juice from one half over the other, then back and forth until the salt disappears into the avocado's flesh.
  5. Place two wedges of Bonne Bouche on each avocado half, and broil for 5 to 8 minutes. Check the avocado after 3 minutes, though, just to make sure the cheese hasn't already melted down. You want to just color the edges of the avocado flesh a terracotta hue and soften the cheese, not melt it.
  6. Remove the avocados from the oven when done and sprinkle the tops with the Cataluña spice blend, one of my secret-weapon finishing ingredients that gives off a provocative ambrosia of smoked cinnamon and pimenton.
  7. Serve on a saucer with a spoon.
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