This article in The Scotsman introduces the avocado to Britons, 75% of whom have never eaten one.
Chilled avocado soup with smoked salmon This is based on a soup I had in the Westcliff Hotel in Johannesburg. I would recommend using Martin Wishart's organic smoked salmon, available from Valvona & Crolla, Harvey Nichols or online (www.martin-wishart.co.uk).
Serves two * 2 large (or 3 medium) avocados, peeled * 125ml natural yoghurt * 100ml milk * juice of 1 lemon * 1 tsp white balsamic (or white wine) vinegar * few twirls of smoked salmon * snipped chives (to garnish)
Whizz the avocado, yoghurt, milk, lemon juice and vinegar in a blender until smooth. Season and chill well. Serve with a couple of smoked salmon twirls and some chives.
Place the guinea fowl in a non-metallic dish. Combine the garlic, ginger, fennel seeds, saffron, paprika, spring onions and olive oil with quarter of a teaspoon of cayenne pepper, 75ml of lemon juice, all but one tablespoon of the coriander and plenty of pepper. Pour this over the fowl and leave to marinate for at least six hours (preferably overnight).
Remove the fowl from the marinade and place in a roasting tin. Pour the marinade on top, along with some salt. Roast at 220°C/425°F/gas 7 for 15 minutes, then reduce to 190°C/375°F/gas 5 for a further 20 minutes per 450g. Check that the meat is cooked through, then remove from the oven and allow it to rest for ten to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the avocados, quarter of a teaspoon of salt, a pinch of cayenne pepper, 1½ tablespoons of lemon juice and a tablespoon of chopped coriander in a food processor. Whizz briefly, until combined but still slightly chunky. Check the seasoning.
Serve the carved fowl with the pan juices and a small spoonful of the avocado mixture.
BACON, AVOCADO AND PAPAYA SALAD
Serve this colourful salad with soda bread.
* large bag of young spinach, washed * 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil * 1 tbsp lime juice * 1 tbsp orange juice * 200g back bacon rashers * 1 large papaya * 1 large ripe avocado, peeled and diced
Place the spinach in a large salad bowl. Prepare the dressing by shaking together the oil, lime juice and orange juice, then season with salt and pepper.
Grill the bacon until crisp. Halve the papaya, scoop out and discard the seeds, then dice the flesh. Add it and the diced avocado to the spinach. Snip the cooked bacon into bite-size pieces and add to the salad.
Pour over the dressing and gently toss everything together. Serve at once.