05 July 2012

Avocado bruschetta

My dad loved avocado. Any day - every day - was a great day for avocado. Sometimes he would have it for breakfast: plain, or slightly mushed up with milk and honey, or whizzed in a smoothie. But it wasn't breakfast-only fare for him. When I was a teenager, he taught me how to make avocado and tomato sandwiches, which was his idea of a quick, on-the-go type of lunch (slice avocado, slice tomato, layer between 2 pieces of bread. Don't forget the mayo). He also loved it in guacamole, in BLATs, in salads, and in pretty much anything, really.

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The last time I saw my dad, which was last year, he asked me to make guacamole for him. He was crazy for guacamole, Taleen's guacamole in particular, and he would put in a special request for it every single time we got together. It always turned out perfectly, except this last time. The avocadoes were taking too long to ripen, and every day we would give them a little squeeze to try to guage their readiness. After a few days I think he couldn't wait anymore, and he insisted that they were ripe enough. He was our family avocado expert and was never wrong about when they're ready, but this time he was. They were hard and rubbery, like an eraser, and no amount of mashing would soften them up. They also tasted awful. It was an epic guacamole fail.

A couple of months after that, I read somewhere that a very reliable way of ripening an avocado is to put it in the fridge. This was news to me; I've always ripened them at room temperature, often in a brown paper bag, and sometimes I would refrigerate them when they were ready to be eaten before we were ready to eat them. This fridge-ripening method sounded interesting, so I tried it, and I was absolutely thrilled when it worked. I ripen all my avocadoes in the fridge now. It takes longer - sometimes even a week - but they always turn out just right. I never got to tell my dad about that technique. In fact, when I found out that he had passed away, one of the first things that came to my mind was, "Oh no! I didn't tell Pops about the avocado in the fridge technique!" Not that he cares much now, but every time I halve open a perfect avocado I think about him and tell him that, see, it works!

I felt like having a BLAT today, but I didn't have any "L" and "T", so I had an avocado bruschetta instead. It's simple and quick, and it's very satisfying. It's probaby super highly caloric, but it felt perfectly light, just right for this terribly hot weather we've been having. I had lunch alone today, but I felt like my dad was with me. I thought of him the whole time, talked to him in my mind, and teared up only a little at the end. 

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Avocado Bruschetta

There isn't really an exact recipe for this, but here's what I did.


Crush a clove of garlic and mix it with a tablespoon or two of extra virgin olive oil (if you're only making one or two toasts, you definitely won't use all of this. You can use the rest in vinaigrette, or in a marinade or sauce, or wherever else you like to use garlic-infused olive oil).


Brush your bread very lightly with that garlic/oil and toast to your liking.


While the bread is toasting, dice an avocado. If you are feeling fancy, toss the avocado cubes in a dash or two of tabasco and a little splash of lemon juice. If you're not feeling fancy, leave them au naturel: the toasts will still be great.


You could also fry up a slice of bacon and then crumble it up. Just putting it out there. 


When the toast is ready, top it with the avocado, along with the bacon and crushed red pepper flakes, if desired. I found that it didn't need any salting, but I guess you could sprinkle on some salt and pepper if you wished. 

4 comments:

  1. Lovely feast, but I have a question: have you ever seen an avocado recipe that required it to be cooked? Fresh -- yes. Mashed -- yes. Made into a crema sauce -- yes. Cooked -- no.

    PS -- try fresh avocado with a smidge of low salt soy sauce drizzled. Heaven!

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    1. I've heard of grilled avocado, avocado tempura and avocado "fries" (avocado wedges that are breaded and fried) ... I've never tried cooking avocado, but some people say it's really good, especially when fried. I find it's already so rich as-is; I can't imagine how much richer it would be when fried!

      I will have to try it with low salt soy sauce - that sounds really good!!! Thanks for the tip!

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  2. i love avocado too. i do put it inside the refrigerator but never knew it had a technique to ripen. who knew!!!

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  3. I love them too! especially guacamole, my favorite recipe is this: http://www.gourmetrecipe.com/recipes/10-minute-guacamole , maybe you should let your dad try it.

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