Several weeks ago, this dish was all the rage because Australian millionaire Tim Gurner suggested that it was the reason that young people couldn’t afford to buy a house. While I will admit that the price of avocados has gone up since I was that age, it is still not that expensive if you go to an ethnic store. You can sometimes find them for $1 apiece at Marina Grocery—as opposed to $2.50 at Safeway.
Note: I grew up in Santa Barbara during the “avocado ranch” boom—people who were convinced that with the high price of avocados, planting an orchard of avocado trees would make an easy retirement income. That may have worked if only one or two people had done it, but after 10 ranches they flooded the market—I grew up with avocados at 10 for a dollar. That does not even include the problems they had with “avocado rustlers.”
Jan and Eilene just got back from their stay in Bacavi on the Hopi Third Mesa. Google maps does not identify Bacavi specifically, but everything on the left side of the highway is Hotevilla and on the right is the village of Bacavi. Jan has gone back every few year with her friend “Big” Eilene and this time she took “Little” Eilene—who is now almost a foot taller than Tante.
During their trip, meals were rather catch as catch can. So they were really missing my cooking by the time they got back. For today’s lunch, I decided to make avocado toast.
Note: It was not until we had sat down to lunch that they told me that they had been living on avocados, because it is one of the few things that “Big” Eilene would eat.
Karl’s Avocado Toast
1 Rustic French baguette (for Vegan use Vegan bread)
1 large Hass avocado, ripe
½ tsp. lime juice, fresh
2 Tbs. green onion, minced
2 Tbs. cilantro, minced
¼ tsp. Karl’s Four Chile Chili Powder
Pinch black pepper
Pinch Kosher salt
3 Tbs. red bell pepper, diced finely
1. Slice the baguette diagonally into medium thin slices.
2. Spread the bread on a lipped baking sheet and set in 8 inched from the broiler element.
3. Set the broiler temperature to 400º F. and toast the bread for about 5 minutes.
Note: Do not over toast your bread. You want your bread to be lightly browned, but not so dried out that it is hard to bite through.
4. Remove the toast from the oven and set them aside.
5. Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit.
Tip: Hold the half with the pit in the palm of your hand and strike the pit with the sharp edge of your knife—the blade should be well stuck into the pit. twist the blade horizontally to the cut surface of the avocado and the pit should pop right out.
Note: If you do not trust your aim with the knife, set the avocado half on the cutting board, pit up, and— holding the narrow end of the fruit with your finger tips to steady it—strike the pit with the knife edge.
6. While the meat is still in the skins, use the tip of the knife to cross the avocado.
Note: You can simply scrape the flesh from the skins without cross hatching, but it is easier to mash smaller pieces of the flesh with a fork.
7. Use a spoon to scraped the diced avocado into a small bowl.
8. Sprinkle the lime juice over the avocado chunks and use a fork to mash the fruit into a coarse paste.
Note: How much you mash your avocado is a personal preference. Some only slightly chop it leaving large chunks of fruit. Others mash theirs to a smooth, creamy paste. I am a “Mama Bear,” I like mine well mashed, but where there are still discreet small bits of fruit.
9. Mix the green onion, cilantro, chili powder, sugar, pepper, and salt into the avocado and let it meld for a few minutes.
10. Spread the avocado paste over the toasts and garnish them with the red bell pepper.
11. Serve by themselves or with a soup or green salad.