Strawberry Guacamole

A twist on traditional guacamole, this version includes fresh, juicy strawberries, adding a hint of sweetness to every bite. And definitely serve it with tortilla chips. None of this celery business.

(Unfortunately, I’ve no photograph for this one–it was for a magazine and I didn’t take my own photo before the photographer did–but I can tell you this: it looks like guacamole, but with strawberries in it.)

Strawberry Guacamole

2 medium avocados
Juice from 1/2 lime
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
Fine sea salt to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste
2/3 cup finely chopped strawberries
1 tablespoon minced red onion

Mash the flesh from the avocados in a bowl. Add the lime juice, cilantro, and orange juice. Mix well, adding salt and cayenne pepper to taste. Stir in the strawberries and red onion. Cover and refrigerator for about 1 hour before serving.

Fresh Summer Rolls with Easy Dipping Sauce

Fresh and light, rice paper wrappers can be filled with your favourite fresh ingredients and easy to adapt to your preferences and to the season. Using some local ingredients, such as beets, put a twist on the traditional types. I often add a spoonful of grated ginger to my sauce for a bit of extra zing.

summer rolls with dipping sauce 2

Fresh Summer Rolls with Easy Dipping Sauce

For the rolls:
20 small rice paper wraps
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 mid-ripe mango, thinly sliced
1/2 medium beet, peeled and thinly sliced
1/3 English cucumber, thinly sliced
1 small carrot, thinly sliced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
5 asparagus spears, sliced

For the sauce:
1/4 cup coconut aminos*, gluten-free soy sauce, or gluten-free tamari
3 tablespoons rice vinegar (not seasoned; check ingredients to ensure it is gluten-free)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 green onion, chopped

Fill a shallow dish with hot water, and have all of your toppings ready to go.

Put two pieces of rice paper in the dish until they are pliable. Set one on a work surface, then top with the other just overlapping so they make a “8” shape. Put strips of the sliced filling ingredients horizontally about an inch from the end closest to you. Wrap the edge of the rice paper around the filling ingredients, then tightly roll it away from you while tucking in the edges. Set the roll aside, and continue with the rest of the paper and the ingredients.

To make the sauce, mix all ingredients together.

Before serving, slice the rolls in half with a sharp knife if desired. Serve cold.

*Use coconut aminos for the soy-free option.

summer rolls with dipping sauce

Socca with Roasted Garlic Dipping Oil

Getting down this basic socca recipe in your arsenal opens up a word of new flavors and options for dinnertime. For a bit of Mediterranean flair, add oregano, black olives, and sundried tomatoes before pouring the batter in the pan. You can also use the socca as a base for pizza toppings, or double the recipe and add veggies, for a spin on frittata. Use good quality olive oil for this one to get the best flavor.

socca with roasted garlic and herbs

Socca with Roasted Garlic Dipping Oil

For the socca:
1 cup chickpea flour
1 cup water
1 teaspoon fine sea or Himalayan salt
5 tablespoons good extra-virgin olive oil, divided (I like this one)

For the dipping oil:
1 bulb garlic
6 sprigs fresh thyme
6 sprigs fresh rosemary
1/4 cup good extra-virgin olive oil
Sea or Himalayan salt
Freshly ground pepper

To start the socca, put the chickpea flour, water, salt, and 2 tablespoons of the oil in a bowl. Whisk well to combine. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 2 hours.

After about an hour, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Cut about 1/8-inch off the top of the garlic bulb, just enough to expose the cloves. Put it in a small baking dish. Put the thyme and rosemary around it, and pour the olive oil on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover tightly with foil and bake on the middle rack for 50 to 60 minutes, until the cloves are very soft and browned. Cool while finishing the socca.

Put a 12-inch cast iron pan in the oven and increase the temperature to 450 degrees F. Once the pan is hot and the oven is preheated, remove the pan from the oven and add 2 tablespoons of the oil. Return it to the oven for about 1 minute to heat the oil. Remove the pan from the oven and pour in the batter (it will sizzle) and spread it around the pan. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes, until the edges and bottom are golden brown, and the top is firm to the touch. Use a spatula to loosen the edges, and slide the socca onto a plate. Add the remaining olive oil to the pan and put it in the oven for 1 minute to heat it. Remove the pan from the oven and invert the socca back into the pan. Return it to the oven and bake for 3 to 5 minutes, until cooked through. Use a spatula to help slide the socca onto a cutting board. Cut into wedges.

Squeeze the garlic cloves into the oil, mashing if desired. Remove the sprigs, crumbling off some of the leaves into the oil. Serve warm with the socca wedges.