28 January 2014

Non-guacamole uses for avocado

I keep buying avocados because they are always on sale.  I know they're good for you, and I know it's worth appreciating that we now have access to such great produce so far from where it's grown, and so cheaply.  But honestly, I don't get the avocado.  It's slimy and mostly flavorless, so I think it needs a lot of help.  I like to make guacamole and this pasta dish I sometimes pack for lunches or bring to potlucks, but they both get old after a while.  So imagine my delight when the January issue of Food & Wine magazine dedicated a whole page to quick recipes to try with avocado!  Two of them were pretty no-brainer (dice it into a salad with other vegetables, stir some of the mashed green stuff into an otherwise standard hummus recipe), but the other two were great, particularly the Hollandaise sauce, which is so much more practical than fussing with actual eggs.  We prefer the extra tang of Bearnaise sauce in this house, so I adapted their recipe as you see below, and the tartare is also an adaptation of F&W's original idea, but both are terrific ideas for that lonely avocado getting too soft on your counter due to your indecisiveness.

Avocado Bearnaise

Makes enough for 3-4 servings over an egg

½ avocado
½ clove garlic
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon fresh tarragon
1/3 cup hot water
Salt and black pepper to taste

Place all ingredients except oil in a blender or food processor.  Drizzle in the olive oil, season, and serve over poached eggs and hash.

Avocado Tartare

Serves 4-6 as an appetizer

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon minced pickled jalapeno
4 drops Worcestershire sauce
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 finely diced avocado

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except avocado. Whisk thoroughly then gently fold in the diced avocados.  Serve on toasts.