One of my favorite things about spring is the chance to enjoy the seasonal fruits and vegetables that are meant for warmer weather. They just taste better when they're actually in season.
The Star of the Season: Avocado
This week, I'm highlighting an ingredient that, to me, shines brightest of all the warmer months: the unique fruit of the avocado tree. Often used in recipes for chunky spreads and as a fresh topping for burgers and salads, this single-seeded berry is a crowd pleaser.
Avocados, cultivated in warmer climates, are widely available in California, the southern states and Mexico. Almost always served raw, it's considered a super food for its diversity and sensational nutritional value (one avocado contains more potassium than a banana). The mild flavor and creamy texture make it a healthy substitute for butter and oil while baking, and it can be utilized in both sweet and savory foods. High in mono-unsaturated fats and rich in fiber, this fruit can actually help lower cholestrol, so don't feel guilty adding it to your meal whenever you get the chance.
While guacamole is an excellent snack that's full of fresh flavor, I was on the hunt for something truly unique, and I found such a dish at a new East Downtown eatery, one that's just as diverse as our star ingredient...
In a starring role at: Tout Suite
2001 Commerce St.
East Downtown, or EaDo, is home to some of Houston's newest, most charming eateries. Enter Tout Suite, a one-stop shop for all things delicious. The multi-level establishment actually dates back to the early 1900s, having been converted from car dealership to a night club to the trendy cafe it is today. Open seven days a week until midnight, it houses a fresh juice bar, coffee bar, dessert shop (serving pastries made famous from sister-company Sweet at CityCentre) and restaurant. The ingredients are locally sourced and the daily specials vary day to day.
One menu option that blows me away every time is the ever popular stuffed avocado. Each day, the dish takes on a wild new personality with a different filling, from macaroni and cheese to warm kale salad. For $5, the stuffed avocado makes a great add-on to any of the signature entrees during lunch or dinner, or it can be a hearty snack in itself.
Stay tuned every week to hear more about what's fresh right now, and where to enjoy the bounty of the season.