California Avocados Direct + Tomatillo Avocado Dip + Avocado Giveaway

So maybe if you’re new here you don’t know the extent of my avocado obsession, so let me quickly fill you in. I’m totally obsessed with everything avocados. I even have a section on my recipe index that is just for avocados. They rock my world and I eat on average at least an avocado a day. I mean, you know what they say, an avocado a day keeps the doctor away. Or at least they keep your skin looking nice and beautiful. It’s pretty safe to say that avocados are my favorite food in the world. Okay… onto the good stuff.

Last week Matt Armendariz and I took a little road trip down to an avocado farm just outside of San Diego. We were both totally stoked to learn all about the fruit that we both love oh so much. Matt and I are total avocado freaks – it’s one of the many reasons we are such great friends. There is also the love of margartias. And of course that Matt is like the most amazing person ever!

Once we rolled into the farm we were greeted by Ben Holtz, who is the President of California Avocados Direct.

Ben Holtz – photo by Matt Armendariz

California Avocados Direct is pretty much the best idea since well, since ever. I kid you not. I can’t even tell you how many times I post an avocado recipe and get a phone call or email from a family member (this means you grandma!) or someone that lives in Midwest saying that their avocado selection is totally sub-par. That is so over now! Enter California Avocados Direct… its a Farm to Table avocado delivery service! So this is what happens: Ben picks, packages and ships the avocados in the same day. They are then sent right to your doorstep and when they arrive they are the most beautiful things you have ever seen. And here is the best part – since he picks, packs and ships all in 1 day – when the avocados get to your door they still have plently of time to ripen. Talk about freshness. So they can sit on your counter and ripen before your eyes. Then once they are ripe they are yours to gobble up whichever way you please! Not only do you get the most amazing avocados (that come with his promise of the best quality!), but Ben throws in a picture of himself picking your avocados and a guide to caring and storing them as well!

While we were at the avocado farm Ben showed us his private reserve of avocados and let us pick a few to take home. Score! We then had a tour of the entire farm and learned all about this fruit. For someone who is so obsessed with them, this was kinda a dream come true.

After we left the farm I was so excited for 2 things. First, there is the most gorgeous avocado canopy covered area on the farm and I am for sure going to have an avocado themed dinner party there this summer. It’s totally going to happen, Ben is already on board! Second, I dreamed up this Avocado and Tomatillo Dip that I was just dying to make with the perfect avocados from California Avocado Direct! The creaminess and hint of spice with this dip paired perfectly with roasted potato crisps. Check out the recipe below!

**And now for the giveaway! Matt and I are both giving away 1 fabulous box of Hass Avocados from Ben and California Avocados Direct!! All you have to do is leave a comment here telling me your FAVORITE way of using an avocado!! I think we all know by now that mine is obviously guacamole – but I can’t wait to hear yours! For an extra entry, head on over to the What’s Gaby Cooking facebook page and become a fan. If you’re already a fan – just leave another comment to let me know! I’ll randomly pick the winner on Friday (4/22) morning. And make sure to leave a comment over on Matt Bites too to increase your odds even more!** Contest now closed. Winner has been emailed – waiting to hear back to confirm before announcing!

And because Ben is such a wonderful person he is offering a one time 30% discount from now until Tomorrow (Tuesday 4/19) at midnight, to all of you on your orders through California Avocados Direct, just enter GabyandMatt during checkout. Trust me when I tell you that you MUST order some of these avocados – they will be the best you have ever tasted!

California Avocados Direct + Tomatillo Avocado Dip + Avocado Giveaway

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 2 avocados, seeds and skin removed
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 2 small clove garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeds removed
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1/4 cup white onion, diced
  • 6 medium Tomatillos, roasted

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Remove the husks from the tomatillos. Rinse under warm water well and wipe clean. Cut the tomatillos in half and place into a baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil and roast for 20 minutes until they are tender. Remove and set aside to cool.
  3. Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse for 1-2 minutes until smooth and creamy. Serve with Roasted Potato slices.
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** And… I personally purchased the avocados I am giving away on this post, this is not a sponsored blog post. I just want to share my love for the most wonderful fruit on the face on the earth! **

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221 thoughts on “California Avocados Direct + Tomatillo Avocado Dip + Avocado Giveaway

  1. “Last week Matt Armendariz and I took a little road trip down to an avocado farm just outside of San Diego.”—WHAT??! I would have loved to tag along! Seriously lmk if you plan to come back! I can take you out for guac and marg’s, too :)

    My fave way to eat avo’s is in my raw vegan chocolate “mousse” which uses avos, agave, cocoa powder, vanilla, and a vitamix.

  2. Going to an avocado farm? Are you kidding me? SO jealous right now. Avocados are my FAVORITE. I make some mean guacamole, and I also love putting avocado slices on top of burgers! Delish!

  3. I loooooooooove avocados too. I thought my obsession was strange, I no longer feel so alone :-)
    I put cubed avocado in my spaghetti, after the sauce is cooked I toss it in with the noodles. YUM!

  4. Obviously…being from Texas, I LOVE quacamole…however I recently discovered a great way is to fix it like a baked potato. I saw this at a wedding, just load it up with sour cream, cheese, bacon bits, grilled chicken…whatever you want, and yummmmmmmm!

  5. I actually puree the avocado in the food processor and mix it with my 5 month old whole grain baby cereal :) she loves it!

  6. I like them all sliced up with a little sea salt, no need to get all fancy with them. They are awesome just as they are!

  7. I never used to be an avocado fan, but I recently gave them another try and let me tell you, I love them! I do like a good guacamole, but I love to eat them just sliced on a sandwich or burger or in salad!

  8. Sounds like a great day, as I was reading, I was thinking how great of a trip that would be. Fresh picked avacados… amazing. I have only just come to love avacados… sometimes I just open, slice and eat… I add them to sandwiches and wraps, and of course guacamole. I am not sure where the avacado has been all my life, but I am in love with it now. I swear I can’t get enough. I am looking forward to trying your dip.

  9. One of my favorite ways to use avocados is to add thick slices of avocado to BLT sandwiches; it’s my favorite breakfast food.

  10. I love avocados, although I used to hate them when I was a child – something about the color and texture. Anyway, I love guacamole and I would love to try this dip.

  11. I love avocados! My favorite ways to use them include guacamole, sliced in a wrap or on tacos. Also my 10 month old neice adores avocado….and so does my dog. :)

  12. I love avocados any way, but my absolute favorite is so simple. Ripe avocado sliced open, sprinkled with salt and finished with a fresh squeeze of lime. Delicious!

  13. I love them raw, guac, diced with white balsamic vinegar and tomatoes, just about any combo or method I’ve come up with so far!

  14. Avocados are amazing. My new favorite way to use avocados is in an avocado mayonnaise, that’s delicious on burgers, sandwiches, with fries, on its own….

  15. I love avocados in so many dishes and this sounds like such a wonderful service, I will definitely keep it in mind. But my favourite way to eat them? Sliced straight up. Whenever I am slicing them for salads or other things, I just can’t help myself, I end up eating at least a few slices!

  16. I LOVE putting avocados in sandwiches! Or we always slice up a few to put on our salads….definitely makes healthy eating a little easier when theres avocados on it!

  17. It must have been fun to be in that beautiful orchard full of fresh green trees growing avocados. I love to see where stuff actually comes form and meet the dedicated people who provide us with what we take for granted – beautiful, healthy, delicious food. Ben looks like an all around great guy who loves what he does. Beautiful photos. I love guacamole, but just diced up in salads if fine with me, so you don’t miss them. Heck, even just plain with a little salt works for me. I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed them until recently!

  18. I also love the avocado in guacamole the best! I frequently make guac for dinner for myself! LOVE! and I would love some delicious cali avocados because i’m in the Midwest and it snowed today!

  19. My kitchen is not complete without avacado. My family likes avacado as guac. However, I could live on avacado alone. My favorite way to use avacado is in lieu of salad dressing and mayonaise.

  20. Hmm.. One of my favorite ways to eat avocados is guacamole of course!! But i do enjoy using it as a secret ingredients like a banana avocado bread or in a smoothie!

  21. I love their avocados. So jealous you got a tour of the farm!
    I’d have to say guac is my favorite way, for sure, but I love them on just about anything!

  22. Believe it or not i usd to not like avocados…they were green and mushy and freaked me out. then my dad made me guacamole when i was 13 and i dont know how i went so long without it!!!!!! i like putting avocado on everything, from sandwiches to salads to toppers on soups but my favorite way to eat an avocado is to cut it in half, take out the pit, put some salsa in the middle, and eat it with a spoon! or sometimes i knix the spoon and use crackers to scoop it out. i love the way the creamy avocado contrasts with the crunchy texture from the crackers. delicious!!!!!

  23. Wow, that place looks amazing! So jealous that you got to go~

    My favourite way to use avocados would be in making California Rolls. I like to put a lot of avocado in it :D

    Or I also really like just eating avocado by itself, with either just salt or soy sauce. MMMMMM

  24. I have to admit I just learned of your blog from Mattbites and I’m glad to see I’m not the only one with an insatiable addiction to avocados. (I accidentally typed “avocadogs” and it gave me some hotdog ideas..) I cut into one late last night and I have two waiting for my me and my girlfriend at home later tonight.

  25. Yum! I love avocado’s! Just moved to CA from the Midwest a couple years ago. We never got a decent avocado there so I didn’t think I liked them. Wow I’ve been missing out all these years, now I eat them every week!
    My current avocado obsession recipe: Salad with Smoked Tuna and Guacamole.
    In small bowl, combine 3 T chopped cilantro, 1 clove of minced garlic, 2 T lemon juice, 1 T olive oil, season with salt & pepper. This is your dressing.
    In small skillet toast 1/2 t curry powder until fragrant. Add toasted curry powder to 1 large avocado (pitted & peeled) mash it a puree. Add 2 minced scallions, 2 T lemon juice, 1 more cloved of minced garlic, season with hot sauce.
    (this alone is fantastic!)
    Combine your choice of lettuce/greens with 1 halved, cored & sliced Granny Smith apple , toss with dressing. Arrange on plates , divide guacamole in mounds on top of salad. Top with Smoked Tuna (my hubby smokes it himself!)
    It’s a wonderful combination of a lot of really good food!!
    Hope someone tries this out and let’s me know what you think.

  26. Geez — can’t choose an absolute favorite, because I love the precious avocado all kinds of ways. Love them sliced or cubed in salad with chopped romaine, red onions, freshly made croutons & a dressing of fresh lemon or lime juice (or red wine vinegar) & EVOO. Or topping any Tex-Mex dish — doesn’t have to be converted guac. Or spooned out of the skin with fresh lemon or lime juice in the seed cavity, & sprinkled with a little Creole Seasoning. Or sliced & paired with fresh Texas grapefruit atop shredded romaine. Or sliced into tacos al carbon. And on & on….

  27. When I lived in Costa Rica I bought an avocado every day from a street vendor – I’d eat them plain or with some crusty bread. No matter what you eat them with, they’re delicious!

  28. I’d have to say that my FAVORITE way to use avocado is… does every way count?!

    But truly, chopped and in tacos is a dreamy creamy taste of goodness.

  29. I love avocado just wrapped up with roasted chicken in a corm tortilla with cilantro, yum!

  30. Gaby, I can imagine that there was a lot of smiling and gushing occurring on the day of your avocado farm visit. What an incredible day you two must have had. Glad you have pictures to capture the important avocado day. I need to tell my folks back east about this company! What a brilliant idea.

    For me, beyond scooping out the good, green meat from a super ripe avocado that’s been drizzled with lime, cayenne and salt…I’d have to say I’m a big fan of GRILLED Guacamole.

    xoxox
    Brooke

  31. I love to top tortilla soup with big chunks of avocado. Also, fresh fruit right from the shell, topped with a little pico is awesome!

  32. my favorite way to use avocados is making edamame guacamole. now i am an huge fan of regular guacamole until i made this. it is an obsession. i also love to put some in my boyfriend’s morning shakes with acai berries, coconut water, and some of his protein water. an avocado a day keeps the doctor away. :)

  33. This post makes me happy and sad. First I LOVE avocados and have since living in Hawaii where I had an avocado tree in my backyard!! I could eat at least one a day, easy. Second, I am moving to the midwest, and just this weekend was thinking how much the lack of avocados is going to suck. I’m definitely signing up!

    My favorite way to eat them is straight up, with nothing but a little salt and lime squeezed on them right out of the shell. But, lately I’ve been getting fancier and making a creamy avocado-veggie sauce, with just pureed steamed veggies, salt, lime juice, and avocado. Its a great dip or salad dressing or sauce for stir fry or pretty much anything!

  34. I love avocados so much, I almost cried at the baby avocado. Seriously :D I eat them every day as well, yet never stop craving them or get sick of them, and my favorite way to eat the beautiful little things is in a chopped up mango/strawberry/jalapeno/cilantro salad, paired with glazed salmon or seared tuna steak. ….Or in home made sushi! :) Ben seems really sweet, what a lucky guy!

  35. I love avocados as much as you do. My absolute favorite way to enjoy them is cut up on a sandwich or a hamburger. But I also love guacamole and just sliced on a salad.

  36. AMAZING! I share the obsession…my favorite is definitely guacamole, though I saw a recipe for an avocado milkshake the other day that I must whip up soon.

  37. I just like avocados. Sliced on a raw meal plate, or salsas and dips. Whatever. And if nobody’s around when I cut them open (this is carefully orchestrated) I will eat the entire thing. Because I can.
    ~Rhonda

  38. I LOVE avocados by themselves or with tomatoes and salt and pepper. Cheese is always a welcome addition to the mix…maybe a nice extra sharp chedder or goat cheese. Naturally I’m a junkie for guacamole too.

  39. Crispy potatoes and this avocado dip!! What a great post full of fab recipes. Love avocados – sounds like an awesome visit to the grower with Matt :)

  40. Avocados are my all time favorite food! I think the best way to eat an avocado is straight with a sprinkle of salt. Yum!

  41. I just eat them diced or sliced…all on their own. No need to ruin a good thing. I also like them on sandwiches.
    nineteen19 at blackfoot dot net

  42. I love avocados so much and just about any way! I did put my favorite use for them on matt’s site too, but I have to share with you too… I use them as one of my baby’s first foods! I used it for both my son and daughter and plan on using it for my baby very soon! It’s so good for them and easy to eat! Great for their developing brains! Thanks so much for the chance!

  43. I loved seeing those photos of the avocado groves!!! Have to say my favorite ways to eat avocados are as follows:
    1. As is with a squeeze of lime and a little fleur de sel.
    2. Guacamole (I did hold the title of “Best Guacamole maker” in White’s Landing!)
    3. Avocado mousse.
    4. Avocado ice cream.

    Avocado themed dinner party?? OMG, I can think of so many dishes for that!!!

  44. Just cut the avocado in half, remove the seed and if I have some add salsa in the pit hole and eat away. If no salsa, eat it “nekkid”–lol

  45. Like CJ Vierow above, I cut it in half, remove the pit, but I pour a small drizzle of aged truffle balsamic vinegar in the well and delicately scoop out small bits with a little sugar serving spoon to postpone the inevitable end to this luxurious pleasure.

  46. I would LOVE handpicked avocados at my doorstep! Here’s what I would do with it: As a savory dish: smashed avocado with a little minced/crushed garlic and lemon or lime on toast. Or in my favorite vegetarian sushi roll: sliced avocados, and honey roasted peanuts wrapped in sushi rice and nori. The creamy, buttery avocado with the sweet crunchy peanuts work so well together. As a sweet dish: avocados coarsely mashed with cold milk and some sweetened condensed milk, eaten cold for dessert.

  47. Avocado Key Lime Pie is a new favorite in our house, 10 oz avocados, 12 oz sweetened condensed milk and 5-6 ounces key lime juice blended and set in a cooked graham crust, to die for!

  48. that’s easy…cut in half & spooned with just a sprinkling of salt! i was fortunate enough to grow up with a huge avocado tree growing in our backyard and that’s how we always enjoyed them the most!

  49. Pingback: Ben Holtz of California Avocados Direct and a Giveaway!

  50. Oh dear Gaby I share your love of avocados. Living in the not-so-avocado-friendly-region of Metro Washington DC, I am thrilled to know that I can now have the real deal shipped to my front door. *bookmarked*

    I love avocados any which way but my favorite has to be with some really ripe tomatoes, torn pieces of bread, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Just wonderful.

  51. I’m a huge fan of guacamole, too – but my favorite is a baked layer dip with plenty of avacado slices nestled under gooey melted cheese!

  52. It’s so hard to pick a favorite! But yeah, I’m a traditional and I love me some fresh guacamole, thick crispy tortilla chips and a cold beer. Feels like summer already!

  53. Toast some bread, spread with a little dijon mustard, top with smashed avocado and sprinkled with crunchy sea salt. Perfect breakfast!

  54. Cheesy avocado toast! Take bread, top with cheese (any kind works – I am particular to sharp cheddar), put in toaster and toast until cheese is melty. Top with slices of avocado and a sprinkle of good salt (maldon is pretty spectacular here). Best. snack. ever.

  55. My favorite way to use avocados is in Ina Garten’s Guacamole Salad recipe. Living in the Pacific NW, we don’t often get NICE RIPE avocados – but when we do and tomatoes and peppers are in season – look out, here comes the Guac Salad! Sometimes I’m almost short on the avocado because they mysteriously keep popping into my mouth . . . That’s my next favorite way to eat avocados – straight into my mouth!

  56. On buttered sourdough toast. MAMA!!
    Or as guacatillo = avacado mixed with tomatillo salsa
    Or as guacsalsa= mix with salsa
    Or as….OMG, I need to stop!

  57. My favorite way to enjoy an avocado is cut in half, pitted and eaten with a spoon. Sometimes I squirt some lime juice or sprinkle some sea salt, but I usually like to just scoop em out of the skin and eat them plain for breakfast, lunch, snack, side dish… :)

  58. Awesome Idea! We have a pretty good selection down here in Charleston, which is good cuz i also am an avocado a day afficianado! My fave way to eat em is on a salad of course but with pineapple habanero salsa and a tomato! Yum! :)

  59. Growing up in the midwest I didn’t have the opportunity to try avocados until I was living in Hawaii and had a friend with a tree in his back yard . . . my favorite way of having avocados is on a bacon tomato sandwich with avocado instead of mayo . . . . oh, I am hungry NOW!!!

    ;-)

  60. Gaby, I’m a big fan of yours and Matt’s! Just liked you on FB (finally!). I would have to say my favorite way to use avocados is in some good old fashioned guacamole! Mmmm Thanks for sponsoring a nice giveaway. Looks like it was a great trip.

  61. Matt introduced me to the second most delicious thing on earth (second to a perfectly ripe avocado, that is). . . skillet bacon jam. A BLAT with bacon jam is indescribably good.

    Beautiful photos!

  62. Wonderful to read all of the great posts! It is such a pleasure to grow avocados, even better knowing how much they are enjoyed.
    Please “Like” us on Facebook and be sure to sign up for our Newsletter to follow the happenings at the ranch!

  63. I love them by themselves best but also on nachos and in a salad with grapes. Doesn’t even need dressing! Avocados remind me of my dad eating them when I was young and him saying, “One day, Julie – you’re gonna love these things!” How did he know?

  64. I can’t wait to try these deicious avocado recipes. Unfortunately, here in the South, the avocados are small and hard as rocks…and pricey! It’s a far cry from my childhood in California where I could just pick them off the trees out back.

  65. I miss walking to the neighbor’s grove and picking fresh avocados for lunch. It was great growing up in Vista, CA and being surrounded by groves. We always had an open invitation to take what we pleased and returned the favor with our fresh, delicious Oranges. San Diego grows the best HASS avocados I’ve ever had on my 40 years!

  66. Favorite use of avocado? I slice it up, salt it, and eat it with tomato slices. Simple, yes, but sooo delicious. You can even through that concoction on some toasted baguette slices or add some smoked gouda. Getting hungry. Must go eat now. ;)

  67. i like avocados any way, every way. but every morning i have a fried egg over “avocado toast” – toast with mashed up avocado, olive oil, salt and sricacha. YUM!!

  68. I love avocados in everything from guacamole and salads to main dinners dishes. One favorite is white tuna sashimi over a slice of avocado. Another is a simple wrap I make that call a chicken avocado cabbage wrap. It is a cabbage leaf spread rolled with avocado, diced rotisserie chicken, tomatoes, feta, olives, artichokes, & a squeeze of lime. Very tasty!

  69. I’m glad to connect up with your website via Mat’s blog. I will be eating more avocados and will continue to follow your words. Thanks.

  70. I like to toast a big chunk of ciabatta, then slather it with a little olive oil, fresh garlic, sea salt and avocado.

  71. Just discovered you. I too love an avocado a day. I try to buy them by the box of 60, but am having trouble this year finding that large a box. I haven’t found an hass avocado I haven’t liked.

  72. This is such a hard decision, because like you, I LOVE MAKING GUAC. But I also love adding slices of avocado to rice bowls and sandwiches. I once made a really interesting avocado-lime cream pie. But yes, I think guac takes the prize.

  73. I never liked avocados growing up. I think it was because when I saw it, it was always in the form of some lousy version of guacamole at Mexican restaurants. It wasn’t until well into my 20s when I moved to New Orleans and started seeing is pop up as a garnish in soups, sliced in sandwiches, etc. that I even gave it a second thought. Post Hurricane Katrina, I moved to central NY, where my sister and her family live. She makes a KILLER guacamole, so I started there and now can’t get enough of these little beauties!! Thanks for the opportunity. :)

  74. Guacamole! After experiencing guacamole made at our table when we first moved to SC, my husband and I bought a granite mortar & pestle and have been making it ever since. Yum!

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  76. Thank you, thank you for this ordering info, Gaby! I ordered a box of 15 — & as of yesterday, they’re all perfectly ripe. Several ripened last week, so I’ve been enjoying both eating & gifting them.
    Have had them in salads with amazing peach balsamic vinegar, topping Tex-Mex, with omelets & fritattas, as well as last night’s guac. What a treat for this avocado lover!

  77. WOW this is THE best guac I have ever had!
    My dad said the same thing and my mom said that it was “one of the best” because she wasn’t going to commit to saying it was “the best” :P
    So many amazing flavor combinations….I can’t wait to make this again and I will not ever be making guacamole ANY OTHER WAY. Seriously. The. Best.
    THANK YOU

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  86. I was really excited to try this recipe for Father’s Day. Followed it to the T but was the dip turned out way too tart due to the amount of lime. Would make again omitting lime and adding only what was needed to taste.

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