Avocados have been available to cooks in the Mediterranean since the sixteenth century, when Cortès brought them back from the New World. It was in Catalonia where I first tasted this simple dish, a combination of silky, paper-thin slices of ripe avocado and marinated fat strips of salty sardine fillets topped with crisp strings of scallions and chives, which makes for a great textural contrast—easy to duplicate and hard to forget.
The combination is based on a dish from the Canary Islands, but the brilliant execution is the work of the legendary master chef Ferran Adrià, famous for his culinary innovations, which include the use of foams, gelatinized liquid, and savory lollipops.
The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen by Paula Wolfert. Copyright © 2003 by Paula Wolfert. Photographs copyright © by Christopher Hirsheimer. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.