California Avocado Recipes For Any State

California Avocado Guacamole Tarts (California Avocado Commission)

There’s a good chance the following recipes work with any avocado, and not necessarily California avocados, but I wouldn’t want to risk it. Best to listen to the press release that follows when making California Avocado Guacamole Tarts and Cumin Glazed Ribs with California Avocado Pineapple Salsa.

Press Release:

Celebrity Chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger Say Bravo to the California Avocado for the Summer

The two “Top Chef Masters” Contestants Share Avocado-Inspired Recipes fit for any Chef

IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Summer through early fall marks the peak of California avocado season, so chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger are offering up two new recipe ideas that feature the delicious fruit. These delectable dishes are perfect for the next get-together and allow chefs at any level to take advantage of the premium-quality California avocados that are available at markets now.

Well-known chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, both of whom have competed on Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters,” are excited to continue their long running partnership with the California Avocado Commission with the creation of these two new recipes.

“California avocados are such a versatile fruit, I just love incorporating them into different dishes. All the recipes in which we feature the fruit have this incredible creaminess from the avocado that our customers just can’t get enough of,” said Feniger. “When California avocados are in season, we are always trying out new ways to use the fruit in our dishes,” added Milliken. “This season we have created two recipes that are perfect for summer parties – our ‘California Avocado Guacamole Tarts’ and our ‘Cumin Glazed Ribs with California Avocado Pineapple Salsa.’”

Feniger, who competed on last year’s season two of “Top Chef Masters,” and Milliken, who just finished up season three of the show as one of the finalists, have been business partners for more than 25 years. Their cooking talents have inspired the popular Border Grill restaurants in Santa Monica, Calif., Downtown Los Angeles and Las Vegas. They also have contributed to the nation’s gourmet food truck cravings with the Border Grill Truck, which brings their delicious food to businesses and neighborhoods throughout Southern California. Additionally, Feniger owns Susan Feniger’s STREET in Los Angeles, serving street food from around the world.

For more recipes that feature fresh California avocados from chefs Milliken and Feniger, visit the California Avocado Commission website at

California Avocado Guacamole Tarts

Serves: 8

Prep Time: 30 minutes; Cooking Time: 20 minutes; Total Time: 50 minutes

California Avocado Guacamole


* 3 ripe, fresh California avocados, halved, seeded, peeled and quartered
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
* 1/2 medium red onion, diced
* 2 jalapeño peppers, stemmed, seeded and finely diced
* 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
* 1 tsp. salt
* Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Place avocados in a mixing bowl. Mash with a potato masher or fork until chunky.

2. Add the remaining ingredients and combine with a fork. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Serve immediately.

California Avocado Guacamole Tarts


* 32 cherry or grape tomatoes
* 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
* 1 tsp. dried oregano
* Salt, to taste
* Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
* 4 (12-inch) flour tortillas
* 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
* 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
* 1 tsp. achiote paste
* 2 tsp. paprika
* 1/2 tsp. ancho chile powder (optional)
* 1 pinch cayenne pepper, to taste
* 1 tsp. salt
* 1 cup shredded green cabbage
* 1/4 cup sour cream
* 1 lemon, juiced
* Salt, to taste
* Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
* 1 cup California Avocado Guacamole (see make-ahead recipe above)
* 8 strips bacon, fried until very crispy and crumbled into bits
* 1/4 cup crumbled cotija cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Toss tomatoes, olive oil and oregano with salt and pepper, to taste.

2. Spread mixture out in a baking pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until tomatoes are soft, juicy and shriveled with concentrated flavor. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.

3. Meanwhile, using a round cookie cutter, about 4 1/2-inches in diameter, cut tortillas into circles.

4. In a small mixing bowl, combine olive oil, lime juice, achiote paste, paprika, chile powder, cayenne and salt. Brush both sides of each tortilla circle with chile-lime mixture.

5. To create tart shells, turn a muffin tin upside down and lay the tortilla circles over the tops of the muffin cups. Bake for 1 minute at 350°F to warm and soften tortillas, and then place a second muffin tin over the top of the tortillas to create a tart shell mold.

6. Bake for 5 minutes to set tart shape, remove second muffin tin and continue to bake until crisp and lightly golden, about 5 minutes more. Remove from oven and cool finished tart shells to room temperature before serving.

7. In a small mixing bowl, combine cabbage, sour cream, lemon juice, and salt and pepper, to taste.

8. To assemble tarts, spread a spoonful of cabbage mixture into bottom of tart shells. Place 2 tomatoes in each tart and press down lightly to flatten over cabbage mixture. Top with a two spoonfuls of guacamole. Add a generous sprinkle of crispy bacon bits and two more tomatoes, unflattened this time. Finish with a touch of cotija cheese and serve immediately.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 490; Total Fat 30 g (Sat 5 g, Trans 0 g, Poly 3.5 g, Mono 19 g); Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 740 mg; Total Carbohydrates 49 g; Dietary Fiber 11 g; Protein 8 g

Cumin Glazed Ribs with California Avocado Pineapple Salsa (California Avocado Commission)

Cumin Glazed Ribs with California Avocado Pineapple Salsa

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes, including marinating time;
Cooking Time: 1 hour 30 minutes; Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes

California Avocado Pineapple Salsa


* 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
* 2 Tbsp. tequila
* 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
* 1/2 ripe pineapple, trimmed+ and cut into 1/2-inch slices lengthwise
* 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
* 1/2 small red onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
* 1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seeded if desired, and minced
* 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
* 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
* 1 tsp. salt
* 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
* 1 ripe, fresh California avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice

1. In a shallow bowl, combine lime juice, tequila and sugar. Add pineapple and toss to coat thoroughly. Let marinate for 30 minutes. Remove pineapple and set aside.

2. Transfer marinade to a saucepan over medium heat. Add vinegar and simmer, stirring often until reduced by half. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

3. Preheat grill to medium high. Wipe grill with an oiled towel and place pineapple on grill at an angle. Cook for 6-8 minutes, turning frequently until outside of pineapple is lightly golden and caramelized.

4. Remove from grill, let cool and cut into 1/4-inch dice

5. In a bowl, combine pineapple with reduced vinegar mixture. Gently toss in onion, jalapeño, cilantro, olive oil, salt, pepper and avocado. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.

Note: If making salsa in advance, refrigerate overnight and wait to add avocado until 30 minutes before serving.

+ To trim pineapple, cut off top and bottom and stand it upright. Cut off the rind, using a sharp knife in smooth downward motions. Remove any remaining “eyes” with the tip of a paring knife. Cut in quarters lengthwise and cut out woody core.

Cumin Glazed Ribs


* 1/4 cup paprika
* 1/4 cup ancho chile powder
* 1/4 cup ground cumin
* 2 Tbsp. salt
* 4 1/2 lbs. pork baby back ribs
* 1/4 cup chopped garlic
* 3 jalapeño peppers, stemmed and seeded if desired
* 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
* 3 Tbsp. hot sauce
* 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
* 1 tsp. salt
* 1 cup honey
* California Avocado Pineapple Salsa (see make-ahead recipe above)

1. Combine paprika, chile powder, cumin and salt in a small bowl. Pat spice mixture all over ribs and let stand for 30 minutes.

2. Preheat grill to 300ºF. Place ribs in a single layer in a baking pan and add 1/4-inch of water to pan. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes on grill with the lid closed.

3. Cover ribs with foil and bake for an additional 45 minutes, or until very tender.

4. Meanwhile, for the glaze, purée garlic, jalapeños, cumin, hot sauce, lime juice and salt in a food processor.

5. Pour mixture into a small saucepan and stir in honey. Cook over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring constantly and being careful not to burn.

6. Increase grill temperature to 450ºF. Remove ribs from baking pan and generously glaze. Grill for 5 minutes per side, frequently brushing with additional glaze.

7. To serve, cut ribs apart and serve hot with California Avocado Pineapple Salsa.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 1220; Total Fat 68 g (Sat 21 g, Trans 0 g, Poly 6 g, Mono 31 g); Cholesterol 185 mg; Sodium 5130 mg; Total Carbohydrates 104 g; Dietary Fiber 10 g; Protein 41 g

*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.

Recipes created by chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger for the California Avocado Commission. Copyright © 2011, Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken.

About the California Avocado Commission

Created in 1978, the California Avocado Commission strives to increase demand for California avocados through advertising, promotion and public relations, and engages in related industry activities that benefit the state’s nearly 5,000 avocado growers. The California Avocado Commission serves as the official information source for California avocados and the California avocado industry. For information about California avocados, visit, become a fan at and follow the California Avocado Commission on Twitter at

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