It’s citrus season in California, jalapeño and avocado season in Mexico, pecan season in Georgia, onion season in Nevada, and kale season in North Carolina! Because we work organic farms in each area, we just happen to have the aforementioned at our fingertips. While we work to build a more sustainable, regional food system, it’s also important that we continue to support organic farms beyond the East Coast. And, it’s a beautiful thing when we can use seasonal produce from different regions to put our spin on these classic dishes and snacks: salsa, guacamole, avocado toast, and kale salad.
In putting the Happy Dirt spin on the classics, we decided to make avocados from Equal Exchange the mainstay. If you haven’t heard of Equal Exchange, check out the work they have been doing for 30 years for small farms in Latin America. We can honestly say that we have never tasted avocados or bananas like those from Equal Exchange.
As for the citrus we used, we chose to work with organic pummelos (also spelled pomelos) and organic Minneola tangelos from California. Both citruses have been all the rage at the Happy Dirt office this season.
avocado pummelo salsa
For our salsa, we added organic pummelos from California. They are currently in season through April and are absolutely delicious. They aren’t as bitter as a grapefruit and have a floral, sweet taste. They aren’t as juicy, so they won’t compete with the juice from the tomatoes. Cutting and peeling pummelos can be tricky, as the rind is very thick. Once you get started, it’s very satisfying to peel back the thick rind to find the beautiful fruit.
We also used heirloom, organic tomatoes from Covilli Organic Farms, located in the Empalme valley of Sonora in the northern part of Mexico.
- One pummelo, peeled and sliced into small chunks
- Three (3) small heirloom tomatoes or two (2) large heirloom tomatoes, sliced into small pieces
- Half of a purple or yellow onion, finely chopped
- Three (3) large Equal Exchange avocados or four (4) small avocados, sliced into small chunks
- One (1) or two (2) jalapeños, finely chopped with or without seeds, depending on heat tolerance
- One (1) lime
- One (1) tbsp. olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Peel and slice pummelo into small chunks and place into a large bowl.
- Cut avocados in half. Remove the pits, cut into slices, and carefully detach avocado from peel with a spoon. Cut the avocado slices into small pieces. Place into bowl.
- Prep the tomatoes, purple or yellow onion, and jalapeños, and place into bowl.
- Add salt, pepper, and olive oil, and squeeze fresh lime juice into the bowl.
- With a large spoon, gently toss the ingredients together, making sure to not mash the avocado.
- Enjoy with your favorite chips.
Our friends at Equal Exchange shared a guacamole recipe created by two of the staff. Along with Equal Exchange avocados, we used organic produce available to us from other farmer partners.
- Four (4) Equal Exchange avocados, ripe
- One (1) small white onion, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
- 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
- 1 serrano or jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
- Optional: fresh lime juice, diced plum tomato, black pepper
- Prep onion, garlic, cilantro, and your chili of choice.
- Cut avocados in half, remove the pits and cut into slices. Detach avocado from peel with a spoon and place fruit into a bowl.
- Add salt and garlic, then mash with a fork until smooth consistency is achieved.
- Add onion, cilantro, serrano/jalapeño, and tomato if you are using.
- Mix until incorporated.
- Taste, and add more of whatever you feel it is lacking.
avocado pecan toast
Since we were making guacamole, we just doubled the ingredients so we could make avocado toast. If you aren’t a big garlic, onion, or jalapeño fan (basically, if you just like the avocados), then you can set aside some avocado before you mix and mash.
Like we did with our salsa, we put a Happy Dirt spin on our avocado toast by adding Georgia pecans from New Communities, a grassroots organization that was founded in 1969 as a collective farm for African American families. We never thought about putting pecans on avocado toast, but they added a beautiful, crunchy texture and a sweet, earthy taste!
avo tangelo salad
After the first bite of our avo tangelo salad, we had to take a minute to process the brilliant collaboration of flavors. Each ingredient complimented each other beautifully, so much so that it was like art for our tastebuds. The best part is that this salad was simple to make!
For our avo tangelo salad, we used the following seasonal ingredients from our farm partners:
- Organic red kale from North Carolina
- Organic Minneola tangelos from California
- Organic orange bell peppers from Mexico
- Pecans from Georgia
- Organic Equal Exchange avocados from Mexico
- Organic Meyer lemon from California
If you haven’t tried a Minneola tangelo, you are missing out. The Minneola tangelo is a hybrid of a tangerine and a grapefruit and is in season from January through March. The flavor has the sweetness of a tangerine and the tart, flowery taste of a grapefruit. It’s also very juicy and easy to peel. When looking for Minneola tangelos at your favorite grocery store or co-op, look for a bell-shaped citrus fruit.
As for how much of each to use to make our avo tangelo salad, we’ll leave that up to you. One of the most important steps in making the salad is to massage the organic kale. Whether you use green kale or red kale, you should always give the greens a good massage. By doing so, you soften the organic kale.
To massage kale, we recommend using a small amount of olive oil (or your favorite oil). The amount of oil will depend on how much kale you use. You don’t want to oversaturate the kale with oil. Massaging kale is like kneading dough or massaging shoulders.
Once you have put your salad together, cut the organic Meyer lemon in half and squeeze it over the salad. We used both halves because Meyer lemons are only in season from January through March. The juice from the Meyer lemon and the olive oil used to massage the organic red kale serve as your dressing. Salt and pepper your salad to taste. You may even choose to forgo salt!
If you are a produce buyer and want to learn more about the seasonal availability of Happy Dirt’s organic produce, send us an email. If you just want to learn more about how to build a more sustainable food system, sign up for the Happy Dirt newsletter.