California Avocados Provide the Perfect Complement to Summer Dishes

Chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger Offer an Avocado-Inspired Recipe Perfect for Summer Grillin’

IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Now through September marks the peak of California avocado season, when this delectable fruit is readily available and at its freshest. It’s also prime time for summer-friendly barbecue recipes, and fresh California avocados are the perfect complement to these casual meals.

Ninety percent of the nation’s avocado crop is grown in California by approximately 6,000 farmers who nurture their trees by hand from seed to harvest. Their commitment to quality can be seen in the fruit they produce and tasted in their flavorful avocados.

The “Too Hot Tamales,” chefs and restaurateurs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, have such an affinity for the fruit that they have partnered with the California Avocado Commission to create an exclusive recipe that is ideal for a relaxed summer meal.

“California avocados offer such versatility to summer dishes. Without a lot of effort, you can add a creamy texture and delicious flavor to a variety of dishes, including burgers, salads and sandwiches,” said Chef Milliken. “Our Grilled Skirt Steak Sandwich with California Avocado and Blue Cheese recipe combines grilled meat with an abundance of vegetables and the rich, nutty flavor of California avocados — a perfect dish for outdoor barbecues this season,” added Chef Feniger.

California-grown avocados are widely acknowledged for their exceptional flavor, but they also pack a nutrient punch. With nearly 20 vitamins, minerals and beneficial plant compounds, avocados can contribute to the nutrient quality of your diet.

Milliken and Feniger have a hip, bold cooking style that has guided the signature tastes at their critically acclaimed Border Grill restaurants in Santa Monica, Calif., and Las Vegas, as well as at Ciudad in Los Angeles. Their Grilled Skirt Steak Sandwich with California Avocado and Blue Cheese recipe is a delicious dish that can serve as a culinary highlight at any summer get-together.

Grilled Skirt Steak Sandwich with California Avocado and Blue Cheese

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

California Avocado Blue Cheese Spread


  • 2 ripe, fresh California avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
  • 4 oz. Roquefort or similar blue cheese, room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 dashes hot sauce
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt, to taste


In a large bowl, combine avocados with blue cheese, lemon juice, hot sauce and pepper. Mash with a fork until mixture is thoroughly combined. Taste and season lightly with salt, as the blue cheese can be salty.

Use with the Grilled Skirt Steak Sandwich recipe below, or on crackers, crusty bread or other sandwiches.

Per Serving: 222 calories; 19 grams fat (6.5 sat, 9.3 mono, 1.4 poly); 21 mg cholesterol; 529 mg sodium; 2.5 grams fiber

Grilled Skirt Steak Sandwich with California Avocado and Blue Cheese


  • 2 (8 to 10 oz.) skirt steaks
  • 1 medium, sweet yellow onion, cut in 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 small tomatoes, cut in 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 4 (6-inch) pieces of baguette, sliced in half lengthwise and lightly toasted
  • California Avocado Blue Cheese Spread (see make-ahead recipe above)
  • ½ ripe, fresh California avocado, thinly sliced, for garnish
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs, for garnish
  • Cracked black pepper, for garnish


About 30 minutes before cooking, remove skirt steaks from refrigerator. Trim any outer pieces of fat or silver skin, but marbling within beef should remain.

Preheat grill or sauté pan to very hot. Pat skirt steaks dry. Brush steaks and onion and tomato slices with canola oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Grill or sauté steaks, 2 minutes per side for rare. Allow steaks to rest several minutes on a cutting board.


Meanwhile, on the grill or in the same sauté pan, char the onion slices until just tender, separating into rings. Grill or sauté the tomato slices briefly, until lightly charred and warmed through.


In a small bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar and thyme. Add grilled onion and tomato slices to vinaigrette mixture and toss gently.

Spread toasted top halves of baguettes with California Avocado Blue Cheese Spread. Place on the upper level of the grill with the top closed, or under a broiler, until warmed, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Arrange the charred onion and tomato slices on the bottom halves of the baguettes. Slice the steak thinly, at an angle across the grain, and place over the vegetables. Drizzle steak with any leftover balsamic vinaigrette.

Serve sandwiches open-faced, side-by-side on a plate, with thin slices of avocado, thyme sprigs and cracked black pepper for garnish.

Per Serving: 566 calories; 26 grams fat (4.8 sat, 14 mono, 3.3 poly); 88 mg cholesterol; 586 mg sodium; 6.3 grams fiber

*Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados, adjust the quantity accordingly.

Recipe created by chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger for the California Avocado Commission.

Copyright © 2008, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger.

For other recipes that feature fresh California avocados, including additional original recipes developed by chefs Milliken and Feniger, visit the California Avocado Commission Web site at

About the California Avocado Commission

Based in Irvine, Calif., the California Avocado Commission was created in 1978 to develop markets for and increase consumption of California avocados on behalf of the state’s 6,000 avocado growers. The California Avocado Commission serves as the official information source for California avocados and the California avocado industry.