Sunday, November 3, 2013

AA (or Avocado Appetizer)

Aaaaaaaaaavocado appetizer - an actually a-complicated and astonishingly appetizing antipasto!  

Yet another simple and healthy dish.  Avocados are a great source of healthy fats (actually reducing bad cholesterol), they are high in fiber contents and packed with vitamins.  But they are also very delicious!  Their creamy, smooth texture makes a great base for various salads and salsas.  They go so well with a whole bunch of different ingredients, which leaves the door open for you to experiment and try to pair them with all sorts of things.  This very recipe is the product of a quick experiment - based on what I thought would go well with avocado and.... what I had in the fridge at that time.

This appetizer has a great combination of different tastes and textures.  You have the smooth and rich avocado, tangy-sweet apple, crunchy shallots and peppers, and nutty roasted pine nuts.  The freshness of the lemon gives it an extra twist, and thick Greek yoghurt combines all the ingredients into one delicious salad.  Avocado really is a great canvas/background that brings out the crunchy, tangy and sweet components.  Yet again, without them, it would be bland and too rich.  With them, it's elevated to the super fruit status it fully deserves.

This appetizer can be served on its own or with a slice of good bread.  Double the portion (two halves per person) and you have a healthy, nutritious and filling lunch.  You could also serve it as a simple salad - a side dish to a main course.   

Makes 4 appetizers
  • 2 ready to eat avocados
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 small crisp, tangy-sweet apple (e.g. pink lady)
  • 2 shallots (a big red onion would also work)
  • a big handful of pine nuts (approx. 70-80g)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of very thick greek yoghurt (or mayonnaise if you prefer the taste - but this makes the recipe a bit less healthy ;-) )
  • salt
  • pepper

  • Toast the pine nuts in a very hot dry pan until golden brown (watch out not to burn them!).  Set aside to cool.
  • Slice the avocados in half, get rid of the stones.  Gently remove the flesh, leaving the shells intact (this can be very easily done with a tablespoon).  Set the shells aside - they will serve as bowls.  Gently dice the avocado (in rather large pieces), put in a bowl and immediately generously sprinkle with lemon juice (this will prevent the avocado from going brown).
  • Dice the shallots (finely), pepper and apple and add to the avocado.  Sprinkle some more lemon juice over the apple (otherwise it will also go brown).  Add the pine nuts, yoghurt and season well with salt and pepper.  Stir gently (e.g. using two forks) not to mash the avocado.
  • Serve inside the avocado shells, garnished with basil.

Bon appetit!

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