Saturday, August 15, 2009

Avocado-Plum Salad for Ferragosto

August 2009 239

Necessity is the mother of invention, the saying goes, and that comes to recipes too. This is a salad I’d never have thought of if it hadn’t been for the nearly overripe plums and avocado sitting on my kitchen counter. The surprising result was a colorful and delicious burst of sweet and savory flavors.

It’s hardly a recipe since it involves just these two ingredients and lime juice.  Just make sure the ingredients are ripe. Peel and slice the avocado, then squeeze the juice of half a lime over the slices. Slice a couple of plums and add that to the avocados, squeezing the juice of the other half of lime over all. Arrange on a platter and serve.

I served this as a side salad with grilled chicken and sauteed swiss chard, but it would taste great with fish or pork as well.

August 2009 242

Oh, and Happy Ferragosto to everyone. For those of you non-Italians, August 15 is a day when EVERYBODY is on holiday in Italy. The country practically shuts down.

It’s a religious holiday commemorating the assumption of the Virgin Mary (when she ascended into Heaven), but it didn’t start out that way. Originally the ancient Romans took the whole month of August to party and honor the gods, particularly those of fertility and abundance. They named the celebration feriae Augusti, after the emperor Augustus Caesar (from whom we get the name for the month of August).

Once upon a time not too long ago, even modern-day Italians would take a whole month off to relax by the sea or in the mountains. Many of them still do, but it’s more common now to take a shorter two- or three-week vacation instead, always coinciding with August 15.

Today, I’ll be following tradition and celebrating the holiday too. Unfortunately, not in Sardinia or Cortina, but right here in Princeton with friends, complete with music, Italian dancers and plenty of food.

24 Baia Sardinia boys


  1. Happy Ferragosto to you!
    The Europeans really know how to enjoy life.

    Do we have linking brains?
    I also posted avocado today.
    The plum/avocado combo is nice.

  2. What a good combo and beautiful colors :D

  3. Thank you! I learned something new! I love Italian food and culture. Happy Ferragosto!

  4. Thank you Linda, I have learnt something too!!

    Oh how joyeous it would be to have a month off and be near the sea or would be fabulous! :-)

    Happy Ferragosto to you to!

  5. oh forgot to say..How wonderful it would be to live in Italy , they have so many fabulous festivals and celebrations and many more bank holidays than here in the UK..who never celebrate anything!!

  6. I'm living in the wrong country! Have a great time partying with your friends. Happy Ferragosto!

  7. I never knew of this celebration before. Now I know, and can wish you a Happy Ferragosto as well.

  8. wow! what an interesting combo. I can't wait to try it.

  9. Happy Ferragosto! Glad to learn something new today.
    Cute pics for that!

    Your combination of these two ingredients sounds awesome and so summery.

  10. oh wow! what a beautiful dish. I never would've thought to combine those two! Isn't it great when a whim or a wing-it comes out great?

  11. What a beautiful combination.
    Happy belated Ferragosto!

  12. I had never thought of combining avocado and plums, but it looks to be a great idea! Thanks for sharing :)

  13. Seems like something yummy is always cooking in your house. Looks delicious. I like avocado. Avocado is very healthy and has many health benefits. It is rich in nutrients and is excellent as conditioner and makes one’s locks lustrous and smooth, it helps to get rid of the frizz from hair, also helps preventing hair loss and its nutrients helps for good hair growth.

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