‘Ave an avo

Some classic ways to put the silky smooth avocado to use, by DEVNA LUTHRA

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I think my grandmother, Nani, is secretly an Australian millennial in disguise. She likes surfing Netflix, watching YouTube videos on her iPad and bops in time to Ariana Grande songs. I learned these things about Nani whilst she has been staying with us in Sydney this summer. She hasn’t been to Australia for almost 20 years. And since she landed Down Under, what’s the thing that’s impressed her the most?
The avocados.

Although she’s had them many times before, the avocadoes she’s had on this visit have been the best, she said. She likes the taste and texture, but the thing she likes most is the dishes that her granddaughter makes with them (her words, not mine!). Like rice and daal is a staple for Indians, avocado toast is a staple for Australian millennials (and now a staple too for visiting Indian Nanis who masquerade as Australian millennials).

Of course Nani had heard about avocados in Australia, because the Indian newspapers had suggested that young people in Oz cannot afford to buy houses because they eat too many avocados.

But at least they’ll be healthy, I tell her, because the avo contains abundant amounts of B Vitamins, Vitamin E and Vitamin K; and are loaded with fibre, healthy fats and antioxidants. At this time of year they are plentiful in supermarkets around Australia, so here are some recipes that my Nani and I have been enjoying.

Avocado salsa on toast

(Serves 1)
Ingredients
Half a medium-ripe Hass avocado
2 pieces of bread, toasted to your liking (rye or sourdough are my top picks)
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 stems coriander and their leaves, chopped
1 tbsp Danish feta
Squeeze of lemon
Salt and pepper (or chilli flakes) to taste

Method
Stone, scoop and mash avocado in a bowl.
Add tomato, coriander, lemon, salt and pepper and mix.
Spread on toast and sprinkle with feta.
Gobble up quickly before other family members ask for a bite.
If you are fancier than Nani and I, you can top with a poached egg or balsamic vinegar.

Avocado pesto pasta


(Serves 4)
Ingredients
1 ripe avocado
½ cup fresh basil leaves
2 smallish cloves garlic (or biggish…up to you)
1 heaped tbsp pine nuts
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Method
Chuck all ingredients in food processor and blitz.
Stir through fresh cooked fettuccine pasta.
Serve with parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil on top.

Avocado mousse

(Serves 4) (or sometimes just 1 if you are sneaky enough)
Ingredients
125g cooking chocolate, chopped (I use half milk chocolate and half dark chocolate)
2 large ripe avocados
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup almond milk (or regular milk)
1-2 tbsps sifted icing sugar OR 1-2 tbsps maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla essence

Method
Melt chocolate over bowl of boiling water on the stove or in the microwave; and allow to cool.
Stone avocados and scoop flesh into food processor.
Add melted chocolate, cocoa powder, almond milk, sugar (or syrup), vanilla and salt. Blitz to mix, and taste to see if you need more sweetener.
Spoon into glasses and chill for 2 hours.
To serve, top with cream or fresh berries or both.

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