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Food & Dining // Heart-y Chef
Diana Helfand

The Goodness Of A Good Avocado

When it comes to avocados, it has to be Hass | Photo from Diana Helfand

Former Hawaii resident Jason Zambuto has returned from a 13-year hiatus in New York City and is excited to take the helm of the retail division at Tori Richard and Kahala Sportswear as retail general manager.

Jason was born in New York City, but fell in love with Hawaii and made it his home when he moved here almost 20 years ago for an opportunity with Royal Copenhagen and Georg Jensen. Five years later, as the company was preparing to send him back to NYC to assume leadership of its North American division, he met and fell in love with local girl Maile Zambuto, CEO of Joyful Heart Foundation, who became his wife. They have two children and are thrilled to be moving home again. Jason is an avid distance runner, completing 80-100 miles per week and two to three marathons per year.

Tori Richard president and CEO Josh Feldman says Jason’s major national retail background will help elevate the Tori Richard shopping experience as the company prepares to launch a new look for its stores that will appeal to both men and women. Welcome home, Jason!

The Hass avocado is the most common variety and is oval with a tough black or dark-brown, shiny skin when ripe. All varieties have a rich, buttery-textured flesh and a slightly nutty taste.

When purchasing, select avocados that are heavy for their size, not too hard, and free of black spots and bruises. The avocado usually is cut in half lengthwise and the pit removed.

Avocado flesh darkens when exposed to air; to prevent discoloration, sprinkle with lemon juice or vinegar.

Nutritionally, avocados are an excellent source of potassium and folic acid, as well as a good source of vitamin B6. They also contain lesser amounts of vitamins A and C, niacin, magnesium, pantothenic acid, copper and zinc.

AVOCADO CITRUS SALAD

For Dressing:

* 1/2 cup orange juice

* 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

* 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

* 4 teaspoons sugar

* 1 teaspoon grated orange peel

For Salad:

* 4 cups fresh Nalo or other local greens

* 2 cups torn red leaf lettuce

* 1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and sliced, and dipped in about 1/4 cup orange juice, to coat

* 2 Japanese cucumbers, peeled and sliced

* 1 small Maui onion, chopped

* 2 navel oranges, peeled and segmented

In a jar, combine dressing ingredients; shake well and chill for about 30 minutes. Just before serving, toss the greens in a large salad bowl. Arrange the cucumber, onion and orange segments over greens. Remove avocado from juice and arrange. Serve with dressing. Makes about six to eight servings.

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