Spring is officially here.   My thoughts turn longingly to summer. Farmer’s markets groaning under the weight of garden plunder.  Produce from my own garden.    My neighbor and I are planning a vegetable garden.  Rhubarb is already growing in it.   Arugula, spinach, tomatoes, eggplant, tiny green peas, green beans, all music to my ears.

And to further fire our imagination a beautiful cook book by Phaidon, RECIPES FROM AN ITALIAN SUMMER .   This is a book to dream over.  The photographs are gorgeous and the recipes are inspiring.

I’m always looking for new appetizer recipes.  This book delivered AVOCADO PIQUANT.   I had a fat avocado in the fridge, and the rest of the ingredients in my Italian pantry.   Our granddaughter Cait makes a delicious guacamole so I know she’ll appreciate this recipe.


Preparation time:  10 minutes, serves 4

2 ripe avocados

6 Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced

1 tbsp capers preserved in salt, rinsed and drained

2-3 canned anchovy fillets, drained and chopped

generous 1/3 cup olive oil

juice of l lemon, strained

Halve the avocados, remove the pits, and carefully scoop out the flesh without piercing the skin.  Reserve the skins.  Mash half the flesh, and dice the other half.  Put the avocado into a bowl, add the olives, capers and anchovies.  Whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice in a small bowl, pour it over the avocado mixture, and toss lightly.  Spoon the mixture into the avocado skins and serve.



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