BLT with Avocado and Sriracha Mayo

blat tastefood

Step aside kale detox and juice cleanse. It’s the new year, and I’m having a BLT. Not just any BLT, mind you, but a two-fisted BLT, sandwiched between crusty country levain bread, layered with creamy slices of avocado and smears of sriracha-licked mayo. What’s more to say? Happy 2015 to you!

Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato and Avocado with Sriracha Mayo

Makes 1

2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Sriracha
2 thick slices country style bread
1 to 2 lettuce leaves
2 to 3 slices vine-ripened tomato
2 to 3 slices crisp cooked bacon
1/2 ripe avocado, sliced

Whisk the mayonnaise and Sriracha in a small bowl.
Lightly toast the bread. Smear the mayo over each slice. Top one bread slice with lettuce, tomato, bacon and the avocado. Top with the remaining bread slice. Enjoy.

Avocado Bruschetta with Balsamic Syrup

Avocado Bruschetta with Balsamic Syrup

Avocado, Balsamic Syrup, Sea Salt, Grilled Bread

The avocado is a healthy staple in our California kitchen.  Avocados are packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber and high in monounsaturated fat.  They are rich in potassium, zinc, and B vitamins, as well as vitamins C, E and K.  Due to their creamy texture and subtle flavor, the avocado is a perfect base for dips, drinks and even ice cream, while their coolness provides a foil to spice and heat in salsas and salads. Having said that, my favorite way to eat an avocado is on grilled bread with lemon and sea salt. When I feel extra fancy, I reduce balsamic vinegar to a viscous syrup which I  paint on the avocado slices. The only adornment required is a pinch of sea salt and a shower of black pepper. It’s simple, sublime and all about the avocado.  Continue reading Avocado Bruschetta

Bacon, Avocado, Tomato Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette

Bacon Avocado Tomato Salad

This salad is a vehicle for bacon.  At least that’s how I viewed it when I made it the other day.  In all fairness, it also showcases beautiful sweet Early Girl tomatoes and cool, mild avocadoes. It also presents a light, rustic-style dinner completed by a hunk of piquant Gruyère cheese, Walnut Levain bread and a glass of Côtes du Rhône.  But, really, it’s about the bacon.

Bacon, Tomato, Avocado Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette
Serves 4-6

1/2 lb. (250 g.) slab bacon, cut in 1/4″ cubes
6 cups mixed greens (red oak, frisée, arugula), washed
4 small red tomatoes, such as early girl, quartered
1 small red onion, thinly sliced, about 1/2 cup
1 avocado, diced
Dijon Vinaigrette (recipe below)

Prepare salad:
Sauté bacon in a skillet over medium heat until browned and fat is rendered, about 8 minutes.  Transfer bacon to plate lined with paper towel.
Arrange mixed greens in a serving bowl or on individual plates.  Top with tomatoes, onion slices, avocado and bacon.  Drizzle with Dijon Vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

Dijon Vinaigrette
(Makes about 1/2 cup)

1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup (80 ml.) extra-virgin olive oil

Prepare vinaigrette:
Mix all the ingredients except the oil in a small bowl.  Pour in the oil in a steady stream, constantly whisking, to emulsify.



Avocado Bruschetta with Balsamic Vinegar Reduction

Avocado Bruschetta with Balsamic Vinegar Reduction

Avocado bruschetta

Avocados are plentiful here in California, and since we moved here, they are appearing with greater frequency in our kitchen.  Avocados are the pear-shaped fruit of the avocado tree, and are grown in temperate climates around the world.  California avocados were originally introduced from Mexico and can be found year round in the markets (or trees, if you should be lucky enough to have your own.)

Versatile and packed with nutrients the avocado is a healthy staple in the kitchen.  They are packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber and high in monounsaturated fat.  Avocados are rich in potassium, zinc, and B vitamins, as well as vitamins C, E and K.  Their smooth texture and subtle flavor make the avocado a perfect base for dips, fillings, drinks and even ice cream.

Combined with other textures the avocado adds a distinctively creamy, cool and rich component to a dish. My favorite way to eat avocado is in salads or on toast, where the cool, creaminess of the avocado compliments the crunchy, savory textures of the salad or the dryness of the bread.

Avocado Bruschetta with Balsamic Vinegar
1-2 servings

2 slices peasant bread (pain paysan) or sourdough
1 large garlic clove
Extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup (60 ml.) balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
One ripe but firm Hass avocado
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Prepare bruschetta:
Preheat oven grill or griddle pan
Smash garlic clove with side of chef knife.  Rub garlic over bread.  Brush lightly with olive oil. Toast bread in oven or on griddle, turning once, until golden brown.

Prepare balsamic vinegar reduction:
In a small saucepan bring balsamic vinegar and lemon juice to a boil.  Simmer until reduced by half.  Set aside to cool.
Trim tip of avocado.  Run knife vertically around center of avocado, cutting into flesh until knife meets the pit.  Gently twist the avocado open and remove pit.  Carefully remove skin, keeping avocado intact.  Slice avocado horizontally in 1/4″ slices.
Fan avocado slices on bread. Brush with balsamic syrup.  Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.