"Its May, it´s May the lusty month of May-
That lovely month when ev'ryone goes Blissfully astray.
Tra la! It's here!That shocking time of year
When tons of wicked little thoughts Merrily appear".
My wicked little thoughts always turn to the avocado and Portuguese avocados are now in season. Smooth rich and unctuous, the avocado or alligator pear as it is sometimes known is one of my all time guilty pleasures.Recalling "Retro eating"- a halved stoned fruit came with a tart opaque dressing of oil and vinegar,and if you were unfortunate enough a dusting of dried herbs for good measure.It was not long before food fashionistas were filling the hollow with dollops of this, that and the other.The contrasting acidity was very acceptable, but the oily texture of an avocado is not flattered by the addition of extra fat and I am talking of sins in the name of Mary Rose and soured cream. My Noughty preference was to combine mashed avocado with chopped boiled egg, lots of lime juice and sea salt.Nowadays I occasionally push the prawn out in the name of calories and stir in a lovely little lollop of alioli. SSSSShhhh, don´t tell anyone.So how come I have only just unearthed avocado ice cream,a concoction that Somerset Maugham claimed to have created.It is interesting for its literary association though perhaps for little else.I have looked at several versions of this and they all use cream, so I have decided to pinch Mr Maugham´s idea but make mine as a healthy sorbet, and serve it as a starter. If you want to serve it as a dessert increase the quantity of sugar and reduce the quantity of salt.
3 large or 4 small ripe avocados
1 heaped tsp caster sugar
1tbsp flor de sal limao
3 tbsps lime or lemon juice
For the Salad
250g little gem lettuce,chinese leaf,or iceberg
handful of rocket leaves
2 medium green chillis finely minced
2 heaped tbsps fresh coriander chopped
Juice of 2 limes
fresh mint for garnish
Peel avocados thinly,ensuring that you keep all the flesh,especially the dark green under the skin.Chop the cucumber finely.Put all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and blitz thoroughly.Check flavouring.Freeze. Remove from the freezer at least one hour before serving.
First line the glasses with chinese leaves.Tear the lettuce leaves into 2.5cm pieces or smaller, wash and drain well. Take the green chilli,rocket and coriander and put in a bowl large enough to take in all the combined ingredients.Season with salt pepper and lime juice and taste again. Do not over mix as the lettuce will go limp very rapidly. Only start the process when you are ready to serve.Serve in individual brandy balloons, large wine glasses or on a platter and sprinkle with some fresh chopped coriander and mint leaves. This salad does not keep well once mixed and therefore all the preparation should be complete prior to blending.Finally top the salad with scoops or quenelles of the avocado sorbet.