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All about avocados

"Great Starters with Hass Avocados from Mexico," a free eight-panel color leaflet, provides information on the handling of avocados, equivalents and yields, and nutritional facts.

Also included are photos to demonstrate proper ripening and recipes including Guacasalsa and Sonora Avocado Salad.

To order the leaflet, fax a request to 212-254-2452 or send an e-mail to info@mexicanavocados.com. To order by mail, send a request to Mexican Avocado Leaflet, c/o Lewis and Neale Inc., 35 E. 21st St., 10th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10010.

Lemons rule!

If you run short of ideas for using the marvelous lemon, try these from the May issue of Real Simple:

Lemon, Almond and Olive Relish

Thinly slice 1 unpeeled lemon and remove the seeds. Finely chop the slices. In a bowl, combine the lemon, 1/3 cup chopped almonds, 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper and 1 1/2 cups green olives (pitted and sliced). Serve with chicken or pork.

Cucumber and Lemon Salsa

Combine the segments of 1 lemon (peeled, seeded and roughly chopped) in a bowl with 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 2 chopped cucumbers. Serve with salmon.

Roast Lemon Vinaigrette

Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Halve 2 lemons crosswise and remove the seeds. Place the lemons in a glass baking dish and drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Turn cut-side down and roast until tender and slightly golden, 25 to 45 minutes, depending on size; let cool.

Squeeze the juice and pulp into a small bowl. Add any juice from the baking dish along with 1 tablespoon honey and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Whisking constantly, slowly add 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil.

Drizzle onto shrimp or vegetables.

New Orleans aid

Tom Fitzmorris's New Orleans Food, (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2006, $19.95 paperback) reflects its author's love of his hometown and its food.

Fitzmorris, a New Orleans food writer, restaurant critic and radio-show host, says the cookbook presents favorites he has tried during 30-plus years on the job. "I've learned how to cook the ones I liked best - and here they are," he writes. Recipes range from oysters au poivre to red beans and rice, from alligator creole to creme brul┼Że.

In an author's note, Fitzmorris writes: "Until our city is healthy again, I will donate half (or more, if we really sell a lot of books) of my profits from this edition to the recovery effort." The publisher says donations will go to Habitat for Humanity.

Wine of the week

2005 Jacobs Creek Grenache Shiraz, South Australia ($9)

This youthful red wine is a bit wild and rustic, with a character you'd expect to find from a small French winery rather than a big Aussie outfit. It's medium-bodied with lively blackberry, black-cherry, herb and meaty flavors - not complex, but very enjoyable. Serve with grilled meats.

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