Sunday, 8 February 2015

10. Grilled Avocado Cheese







Photo: Sustainable Gardening Australia


Grilled Avocado Cheese

     When last in California I was entertained to lunch at a Russian River Valley Winery. We were served grilled avocados as a starter.  This sticks in  my memory as I had never eaten avocado other than cold with a vinaigrette sauce, sliced in a salad or as a guacamole dip.  I was delighted with this dish - and with the chilled local gewürztraminer white wine that we sampled with it. 
     Here is my take on this dish. There are in fact a number of interesting ways to cook avocados and we are perhaps unadventurous in our treatment of this wonderful fruit which the Spanish conquistadors first discovered when they pillaged Mexico in the 16th century in their bloodstained quest for the Aztec's legendary El Dorado.  
     Barrow Boys, my local greengrocer, stocks them throughout the year and, depending on the month and fruit variety, (there are at least 40 varieties), will have come from Peru, Chile, California, Israel, Kenya or South Africa.  The fruit comes originally however from Mexico where vthe Aztecs cultivated it. The word 'avocado' stems from the Aztec ahuacatl.  The Aztecs believed the fruit was an aphrodisiac, calling it  "the fertility fruit", and kept virgins indoors during harvesting to avoid any promiscuity. 

Ingredients: Serves 2

1 Avocado; 1 tbs Tabasco sauce; Juice of 1 lime; 2 tomatoes chopped;  Sliced Buffalo Mozzarella cheese.  Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Method: 

1.  Slice the avocado in half and remove stone. Prick all over with a fork.  2. Pour sauce and lime juice over each half, add salt and pepper.  3. Fill stone cavity of each half with chopped tomato.  4. Place under the grill for 2 minutes.  5. Top with Mozzarella cheese and grill for a further 2 or 3 minutes until the cheese has melted.  6. Serve garnished with wedges of lime. 

Health Benefits of Avocado
     Avocados are a nutritional powerhouse. They are high in monounsaturated fat, contain 60% more potassium than bananas as well as being an excellent source of vitamins B, C, E, K and folate. They are rich in phitochemicals and consequently may offer an advantageous dietary strategy in cancer prevention. Other dietary advantages of the fruit is that it may reduce the risk of of diabetes, stroke and coronary artery disease as well as being higher in protein and lower in sugar than most fruits. 



Further Reading:

Medical News Today  : The Health Benefits of Avocados
California Avocados : Avocado Recipes


Food for thought: To care for oneself by eating excellent dishes and drinking excellent wines - that is the proper, the true medication.

                                                                                                 M Chatullon-Plessis
q. in Pleasures of the Table by G. Ellwanger 1903