Avocado is one of those fruits I always keep handy. I used to use it strictly for making guacamole, but then I started incorporating it into salads and, more recently, smoothies and desserts. Fruit desserts and salads are something I’m particular fond of, and today’s recipe was born out of the need to use a great part of the huge bag of kiwi fruit my aunt gave us (she grew and picked it herself). Don’t be skeptical about the use of avocado in here: its primary function is to give creaminess, and you’ll barely feel its taste. On the other hand, if you’re planning on doing this, it’s key to use ripe kiwi fruit, otherwise it’ll taste bitter and give you this weird feeling in the mouth (at least that’s what happens to me when I eat it underripe). Also, and I know this comes with a bit of a delay, but I wish you all a great 2012, full of exciting projects and recipes (I made this list where I wrote down recipes I want to have on my repertoire, and Socca is the first in line, so I guess this is a hint of what might come up next in here).
*Another reason to convince you to try out the avocado-kiwi fruit combo: Jennifer and Jaclyn’s version of a similar pudding.
Avocado and Kiwifruit Pudding with Lime
for the pudding:
2 avocados (I used one large and one medium sized), (320 g)
7 kiwis (310 g)
½ banana (50 g)
¼ cup (60 ml) agave nectar
zest of two limes
juice of one lime
a few banana slices
2 to 3 kiwis, cut into cubes
fresh mint leaves
1. Put all the ingredients for the pudding in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
2. Divide the pudding among four small bowls and add a few banana and kiwi fruit slices on top, as well as some mint leaves. Serve and enjoy!
Not too long ago, when I started this blog, I said to myself I’d be publishing as many everyday recipes as I could. I thought everyday, easy, and unfussy recipes, were what people would appreciate the most, as those recipes normally don’t require long lists of ingredients and don’t need large amounts of time to be prepared. But, as time has passed, I’ve realized the recipes I’ve been posting around here can’t all be filled under the “everyday” category, and that doesn’t come without an excuse: quite frankly, my everyday meals – mostly salads, some sort of veggie proteins, and toasted bread – are often not exciting enough to deserve attention.
My recipe notebook is filled with ideas for simple, easy, but yet tasty meals, and I feel I should turn to them more often than I actually do. One of the things I’ve been eating a lot lately – avocado toasts – has actually its roots on some those notes, and it’s one of those things that makes me nostalgic for the time I’ve spent in Holland. Back when I was living there, avocado toasts were my favorite meals: dutch people don’t have the tradition of having lunch (they eat one of two sandwiches at lunchtime and that’s it), so I’d take my avocado toasts to have for lunch at school almost everyday of the week. And couldn’t get tired of it.
The key to make a super yummy avocado toast is to use the ripest avocados you can find, and, if possible, organic ones - they taste much better than the non organic versions. To use some good, whole grain bread, is also important: you want a slice of bread packed with flavor and character, not something as bland as a piece of the white variety. Besides, having more fiber, whole grain bread will keep you full longer. And finally last, but not the least: I prefer this toast topped with fennel rather than napa cabbage, so if fennel is widely available where you live (for some unknown reason, I rarely find it here in Portugal), I’d use it instead of the latter.
(serves 2, generously)
1 large, ripe, avocado
1 and ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon agave nectar
2 tablespoons non dairy yoghurt
2 tablespoons lime juice
salt to taste
2 slices of whole grain bread, toasted
2 tablespoons shredded napa cabbage or fennel
4 oil packed sun dried tomatoes, finely cut
1 tablespoon parsley, finely cut
1. In a medium sized bowl, combine the mustard, yogurt, lime juice and salt. Mix well and have a taste: really concentrate on the flavors, and add a bit more of anything (maybe a bit more salt? A bit more agave?) you think it needs.
1. Halve, pit, and peel the avocado, then slice it into big chunks. Lightly mash the chunks with a fork,, being mindful not to overdo it.
3. Add the avocado to the yogurt and mustard mixture, and stir to incorporate.
4. Now, pour 1 to 2 tablespoons of the avocado mixture over each slice of toasted bread, followed by the shredded cabbage or fennel and the sun dried tomatoes. Finally, sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.
I do think that, in terms of palate, there are two kinds of people: the sweet and the savory ones. I’m definitely part of the second category. Since I was a kid, I never got particularly excited about desserts and sweets in general; everytime I’d crave something, that would be some sort of savory food. I also think that this “tendency” (or whatever it is named) for savory goods really defined my way of cooking: I do feel more comfortable cooking grains, salads, legumes and soups, rather than baking or making puddings or anything sweet. The techniques for cooking savory or sweet goods are also different and, in my case, the fact that desserts (specially baked ones) call for a lot of measuring in order to achieve the desired result, goes a bit against my intuitive and spontaneous way of approaching cooking.
But anyway, if there’s someone who really has a natural tendency for sweet stuff, that person is certainly my mother. At first, she was a bit reluctant about this dessert, as it calls for avocado on it (an ingredient that she doesn’t appreciate that much), but after the first taste, there was no way back for her: the rich flavour of the carob as well as the slight hint of orange, rapidly converted her sweet tooth. The pudding was inspired by the recipe for Carob Pudding from the gorgeous Lucid Food, by Louisa Shafia, and my take on it goes with the inclusion of the orange zest and juice, as well as the crunch topping (that is also based on a crunch topping recipe of that very same book, although in the book it’s served over a different dessert) , that contrasts well with the creaminess of the pudding. Serve it cold, in small ramekins, and bare in mind that the taste of the carob is quite distinct from that of the chocolate, but by no means less rich and intense.
2 ripe avocados
6 tablespoons carob powder
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons agave nectar
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest
for the crunch topping:
1/2 cup roalled oats
1/2 cup almonds
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1. Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC.
1. In a blender or food processor, puree the ingredients for the pudding until smooth. Pour into 4 small ramekins and chill in the refrigerator while you make the topping.
3. Combine all the ingredients for the topping in a bowl. Spread evenly on a baking dish, lined with parchment paper, and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring ocasionally to prevent from burning, or until the topping is dry and golden brown.
4. To serve, scatter 1 tablespoon of the crunch topping over each serving of pudding. The topping can be kept, stored in the refrigerator and in an airtight container, for up to one week. Served over yoghurt or added to a bowl with cold milk, makes an excellent breakfast.
Adapted from Lucid Food, By Louisa Shafia, published by Ten Speed Press