by Xuan Thai | May 27, 2016
The Spread: Summer Avocado Recipes for Sips and Dips
West Palm Beach chef shares his secrets
The avocado, also known as the alligator pear because of its rough, reptilian skin, is the inspiration for a menu with serious culinary chomps (er, chops) at the award-winning Avocado Grill in downtown West Palm Beach. Flamingo sat down with owner and chef Julien Gremaud, who honors Floridians’ penchant for certain varietals and shares his secrets for impressing guests with the fleshy seed-bearing fruit.
“I’m a huge fan of the avocado,” says Gremaud, who grew up in St. Tropez. “It’s creamy, fatty, but of course a good fat, and mild. I just think it goes with everything.”
Chef Gremaud uses more than 400 avocados a day at his restaurant, which is decked out in lime-colored leather booths and subway tiles, along with its lighted “AG” sign.
One of AG’s most popular dishes is ginger guacamole. This zesty version of Gremaud’s classic guac evolved out of a home-cooking experiment. He loved the result so much, he put it on the restaurant’s menu. The ginger root adds an unexpected bite and earthiness to the chunks of ripe avocado, tomato and red onion.
Florida boasts its own avocado, a bit larger in size and with a greener, smoother skin than the well-known Hass. Gremaud says that locals prefer the Hass over its beefier cousin, and he also favors it for making guacamole, which demands a concentrated flavor. However, he says, the Florida avocado works better in salads. Ready-to-eat avocados should be soft but not too soft.
“When you push it, the skin should not go with it. That would be over-ripe,” Gremaud says.
Avocado Grill’s Ginger Guacamole
Serves 4 to 6
- 3 ripe Hass avocados
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tablespoons diced tomato
- 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons diced red onion
- 2 tablespoons diced jalapeño
- 1 ½ tablespoons finely chopped ginger
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Preparation: Slice avocados in half lengthwise and discard seeds. Scoop meat out of shell with a spoon. Place in a bowl. Add the juice of half a lime immediately to prevent browning. Use a fork to mash avocado to desired consistency. Add tomato, cilantro, onion, jalapeño, ginger and Sriracha. Stir gently to mix ingredients. Add remainder of lime juice and season with salt and pepper. Stir slightly, just until ingredients are incorporated. Serve with tortilla chips.
Florida Avocado Salad
Serves 2 to 4
- 2 Florida avocados
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 cup diced mango
- 1 cup diced watermelon
- 1 sprig cilantro, chopped
Preparation: Slice avocados into quarters, but do not peel. Season well with salt and pepper. Place avocado quarters on grill and cook approximately 2 to 3 minutes, or until soft. While avocados are grilling, mix mango, watermelon and cilantro. Remove avocado chunks from grill and place them, skin side down, on a plate. Top with mango-watermelon mixture.
125 Dantura Street
West Palm Beach
Sun-Thurs 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.
open until midnight, Fri and Sat
Fan of the avocado? Check out our Avocado Margarita recipe.