Open Faced Avocados


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As a child I must admit I loathed avocado. My brother and I even composed a song and dance routine to emphasis to our parents just how little we cared for the fruit. We were restless kids. I’m not entirely sure when the crusade began to falter. It was gradual I think. I didn’t notice it. My distaste has since been replaced by a flat out obsession with them though.

These are three of my favourite open faced combinations for avocado celebration. The first is a strawberry, cucumber and spring onion salsa with rye croutons and cashew aioli. The second; sweet and spicy chickpeas with sunflower sprouts, currants and chopped pistachio and the third; tamari walnut meal with alfalfa sprouts and a turmeric cashew dressing. Eat one. Eat them all. 


OPEN FACED AVOCADOs / each serves 1 - 2

3 avocados, halved, peeled and de-stoned

 

STRAWBERRY SALSA

A handful of strawberries

A lime, juice

A spring onion stalk

Half a cucumber

A piece of rye bread, toasted

To finish; cashew aioli

Gently dice the strawberries, cucumber and spring onion and then combine then with the lime juice. Tear the rye bread into pieces and scatter it through the combination and then spoon the mixture into your open faced avocado. Finish it with a drizzle of cashew aioli and serve immediately. 

 

SPICY CHICKPEAS

A cup of chickpeas, soaked and cooked

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp of sumac

1 tsp of smoked paprika

1/2 tsp of cinnamon

1/8 tsp of cayenne pepper

1 tbsp of maple syrup

Half a lemon, juice

A handful of currants

A handful of sprouts (I love sunflower)

A handful of pistachios, chopped

In a skillet over medium heat, sauté the chickpeas in coconut oil for a couple of minutes and then add the spices. Turn them over until they’re well coated and cook for a further two minutes until they begin to brown. Increase the heat to high and then add the maple syrup and lemon juice. Working diligently continue to fold the chickpeas over; you’re almost looking to glaze them in the mixture. After they’re golden and shiny remove them from the skillet and spoon the mixture into you open faced avocado. Top with currants, sprouts and pistachios and serve immediately. 

Note: If you have any leftover spicy chickpeas they can be store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

 

WALNUT TAMARI MEAL

1/2 cup of walnuts

1/4 cup of almonds

2 tbsp of sunflower seeds

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp tamari

1 tsp of oregano

1 tsp of cumin

1/2 tsp of chilli flakes

1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper

1 tsp of maple syrup

A handful of sprouts (I love alfalfa)

To finish; turmeric cashew dressing and black sesame seeds

Combine all the ingredients, (except the sprouts) in a food processor and pulse until well combined. You’re looking for a coarse meal still with texture though not with any whole nuts. Spoon the mixture into the open faced avocado and top with sprouts, the turmeric cashew dressing and black sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

Note: If you have any leftover walnut tamari meal it can be store in the refrigerator for up to a week.


CASHEW DRESSINGS

1 cup of raw cashews

1/2 cup of filtered water

1 tbsp of lemon juice

2 tsp of apple cider vinegar

1/2 tsp of dijon mustard

1 tsp of maple syrup

For the aioli; a garlic clove

For the turmeric dressing; 2 tsp of ground turmeric

Soak the cashews overnight or for at least three hours. Combine them with the lemon, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard and maple syrup in a high speed blender and pulse until smooth and creamy. If the mixture is too dry add an additional tablespoon of water at a time until you reach a desirable consistency. For the aioli version you can then crush and fold through the garlic clove or alternatively for the turmeric dressing you can fold through the ground turmeric. My indecision often leads me to use the mixture for half and half so simply halve the amount of garlic and turmeric if you wish to so also as well.


SEASONAL GUIDE / TEMPERATE CLIMATE

Avocados, generally available year round though most abundant from early autumn through to early summer.

 

PRODUCE COMPANION

Avocados ripen after harvesting. One of the most common varieties the Hass cultivar will transform from green to brown as it ripens though colour can sometimes be a misleading indication of ripeness as softening can occur at a varying rate, independent of the colour.

Unripe avocados are best stored at room temperature and if you’d like to hasten the process do so in the proximity of bananas. Once ripe an avocado should yield slightly underhand and ideally eaten right away. Though they can also be stored in the refrigerator for several days.

 

also complementary to serve with

Natural yoghurt, goat's cheese, grilled halloumi, grilled mushroom, pomegranate arils.