We've partnered with California Avocados to share recipes that embrace the California approach to cooking fresh and local. For the Los Angeles-based food blogger behind A Cozy Kitchen, that means letting farmer's market produce shine in bright, seasonal dishes. The following is an interview with Adrianna Adarme, as told to Food52.
For me, feel-good food means recipes and ingredients that simply make me feel good when I eat them. And while I’m a big lover of pasta, bread, and cake...I can’t eat those things every single day. When I’m craving foods that will make my mind and my body feel good, I naturally steer towards vegetables and specifically salads—but that wasn't always the case.
Growing up I despised salads. My mom would always put me in charge of making a salad before dinner (along with setting the table), and they were so painfully boring: just lettuce and tomatoes. It’s taken me a long time to figure out what I need in a salad to make it appealing to me.
The answer? Everything! I need my salads to not only have texture and flavor, but also be bright and visually interesting. This doesn’t mean they have to be complicated, but some effort past tossing lettuce and tomatoes into a salad bowl is required.
California—and specifically Los Angeles, where I live—is known for its casual, chill vibes. So my cooking is always inspired by the casual, laid-back attitude that's so appreciated here. That means letting the beautiful California produce shine by not doing too much and just allowing it to be its wonderful, delicious self. I love going to the farmer’s markets on Sunday morning, walking down the aisles and letting the bright colors and fresh smells inspire what we’re going to have for dinner.
Take my recent favorite feel-good salad for example. It's full of seasonal ingredients and it's simple, while still hitting all my salad marks. Creamy burrata and avocado are a perfect textural contrast with the crisp butter lettuce and snappy peas and asparagus. The dressing has a lovely tangy brightness thanks to the citrus and yogurt. Plus, the colors—green, white, and a touch of purple—scream spring. I'll be making it on repeat until the next inspiration comes along.
For the dressing:
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons whole-milk yogurt
- 1 California Avocado
- 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
- 4 mint leaves, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 jalapeño
For the salad:
- 1/2 cup peas, fresh or frozen and thawed
- 8 spears of asparagus, trimmed and shaved with a vegetable peeler
- 1 head of purple and/or green butter lettuce, trimmed and torn into bite-size pieces
- 1 California Avocado, pitted and sliced
- 1 ball of fresh burrata
For More Avocado Recipes
To bring you fresh, feel-good summer recipes, we've partnered with the California Avocado Commission in celebration of this versatile and oh-so delicious green fruit (yes, it's a fruit!). California Avocados spend over a year growing in the state's ideal climate (plenty of sunshine and cool ocean breezes). You'll know a California Avocado is ready to eat (or cook with!) when it yields to gentle pressure in the palm of your hand. Just make sure not to poke it with your fingertips—nobody wants a bruised avocado on their plate!