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Summer Fun! Authentic Guacamole, a Fig and Honey Salad, and a make-your-own Soft Drink

        Today I wanted to share three recipes that are fast and fun and amazingly delicious all at the same time.

A true Molcajete, sold at Williams-Sonoma
        First up, a recipe for that great summer favorite, Guacamole.  Every year, we look forward to a visit from Carlos, a friend of a friend who comes up from his home in Mexico City.  Last year, Carlos kindly gave us Diana Kennedy’s classic “The Art of Mexican Cooking” (Clarkson Potter 1989, 2008).
This book is an incredibly rich collection authentic recipes culled from 50 years of living, traveling and cooking in Mexico.  If ever there was a place to look for a recipe for guacamole, this is it.  It should be made at the last moment because it quickly changes color with or without the avocado pit.  You can actually make it right in front of your guests if you have a ‘molcajete’, that stone pestle you see at every Mexican restaurant.  However, this worked just fine using a blender for the base and then mashing the avocado into another bowl. 
  Our second treat is a very simple salad, adapted from a marvelous new cookbook that I highly recommend.  It’s “Savoring the Hamptons” (Running Press 2011) by one of the great doyennes of East End cooking, Silvia Lehrer.  This book will be the subject of a complete post at a later date.  Today I want to share an adaptation of Silvia’s Fig, Honey and Cheese Salad.  Years ago when I was in Greece on vacation with my parents, my father could not wait to eat fresh figs.  Strangely, he never eaten the raw fruit even though he lived in Georgia at the time, certainly a climate warm enough for figs. In fact, my great friend Carl, grows figs in Yardley, PA, from a tree he transplanted from his grandparent’s garden in The Bronx.  The tree is carefully covered in winter and annually rewards Carl and his family with a crop of the delicious fruit.  Wonder of wonders, figs also grow on the East End and are a feature of this week’s Farm Stand offerings.  This salad is a wonderful way to, well, savor the fig.
      Finally, there’s something that’s great fun to make and perfect for kids.  In a recent Bon Appetit, an article called Fizz Ed spelled out the reasons why making your own soft drinks is such a great idea.  We used local strawberries and and ordinary canned soda water to make up a batch.  What’s great is they contain less than half the calories and the sugar of, say, a Sprite.  It’s simplicity itself to make.  You crush the berries with lemon juice and basil, of all things, and then pour in the soda water.  I am sure you can do this with all kinds of fruits once you get the hang of it, which should take you all of five minutes.Here are all three recipes:

3 thoughts on “Summer Fun! Authentic Guacamole, a Fig and Honey Salad, and a make-your-own Soft Drink”

  • I just wanted to comment your blog and say that I really enjoyed reading your blog post here. It was very informative and I also digg the way you write! Keep it up and I’ll be back to read more soon mate.

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  • Hello,

    Your figs with cheese, toasted pecans and honey drizzled over them sounds so delicious.

    I am wondering–What kind of figs did you use for this dish?

  • Please excuse me for not getting back to you immediately. You can use absolutely any kind of fresh figs for this dish. Mission Figs are great. We just used what was at our local Farm stand. Believe it or not, there are people on Long Island who can grow them in the summer as long as they move or wrap the trees very carefully for the colder months. Enjoy!

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