As I mentioned in my previous post I adore avocado’s and could eat them every day if I could. So…when ZZ2 Farms invited me to be a part of their latest #Afrikado challenge I jumped at the chance. Any excuse for an avocado adventure right? Yes, that is what I thought as well!
We spent last week up the West Coast for a little bit of R&R with the family….well that was the general idea but whoever thought they could rest and relax with two little boys around is rather crazy! All I can say, though, is that we really DID have a lot of fun and adventure-filled days and we came home to have a bit of R&R! I took a couple of avocados with me and sat staring at them….turning them around gently in my hands and dreaming up some ideas on what to do with them and how to use them in a new innovative way that is far more interesting (but not necessarily more delicious) than just guacamole. I happen to luuurve guacamole! Anyway, that lasted until they ripened and my daughter swiped them and cubed them for our salad. When we got back I bought some more and today I did my first entry for the challenge.
And may I say it was absolutely superb! The smokiness from the griddle pan adds such a wonderful flavour to the normally mild tasting avocado. This recipe was inspired by the winter menu at The Red Herring Restaurant in Noordhoek. We went there for our recent 35th wedding anniversary and I had their grilled avocado starter which I really enjoyed. I took the basic elements from their dish and adapted it to suit my tastes, adding the chilli and prosciutto. Of course using my homemade secret recipe ClemenGlaze added a delicious warm spicy, citrus touch! I HAD been going to do a dessert but I read a couple of other blog posts and they had beaten me to it so I decided to go with the savoury one now and I will do a sweet one soon. Watch this space!
GRILLED AVOCADO WITH PROSCIUTTO PARMESAN AND TOASTED PINENUTS
Serves 2 as a starter
- 1 Avocado sliced in half and stone removed
- 1 Lemon or Lime – cut the cheeks off and reserve for serving
- 2 Slices Prosciutto – at room temperature
- 1 Red Chilli – finely sliced (remove seeds if you can’t stand the heat)
- 5-10ml Olive Oil
- 30ml Pinenuts – Use Walnuts roughly chopped up if preferred
- Rocket or mixed baby lettuce leaves
- Parmigiano Reggiano shavings
- Coriander leaves (also known as cilantro or dhania)
- 100ml Aged Balsamic Vinegar – reduced with 15ml Raw Honey or Erythritol to make a thick glaze
Heat a griddle pan until smoking hot
While that is heating up quickly dry toast your nuts in a non stick pan over high heat until lightly browned. Watch them carefully and toss every couple of seconds then allow to cool
Brush the cut surfaces of the avocado with a little olive oil and lemon juice then place cut side down onto the very hot griddle pan. Push it down gently onto the ridges so that all the surface gets nice charred lines across it. It takes about a minute at most.
Flip the avo over onto the skin side using a spatula then turn off the heat and leave it on the griddle pan to heat up nicely while you prepare your plate
Arrange a layer of rocket or lettuce leaves onto the plates
Using a piece of paper towel to hold the avocado halves gently peel off the hot skin – it comes off quite easily, then slice a thin layer off the rounded ends so that it can sit on the leaves without wobbling
Sprinkle over the pinenuts and the finely sliced chilli
Drizzle with some of the Balsamic Glaze
Tear the Prosciutto into long strips and place them decoratively on the plates putting one strip into the hollow of each avo half
Scatter over the paper thin Parmigiano Reggiano shavings and the coriander leaves. Use parsley if youcant take the taste of coriander leaves
Grind over some black pepper and sea salt flakes and serve immediately with the lemon or lime cheeks
Pinenuts are very expensive in South Africa so if you need to you can definitely substitute with walnuts which you toast whole then chop roughly once cool
A tip to easily remove the stone from the centre of the avocado – hold the avo half in one hand, smack the stone with a sharp knife, give a little twist then lift it out easily!
You can check out all the buzz and recipes on twitter at #Afrikado or follow @ZZ2Farming or myself @CollyWolly (points to link in the right sidebar) or else check it out on facebook on the ZZ2 link at the beginning of this post.