Recent entries in: Appetizers and Snacks

  • Baked  Avocados with Fresh Salsa

Baked Avocados with Fresh Salsa

Posted on May 25, 2017

This post was originally published here on June 18, 2014. I’ve since updated the photos and text to showcase just how delicious these avocados really are!

With Memorial Day lurking right around the corner, I figured it was a good time to refresh this old recipe from 2014. Because let’s be honest, the previous photographs were pretty cringe-worthy. I certainly wouldn’t have been motivated to make these Baked Avocados with Fresh Salsa based on how they looked before. So how could I have expected you guys to want to make them?

So I gave them a little facelift. And now they look all shiny and pretty. I hope you get the urge to run right out and try them. Because I think they are the perfect recipe to help kick off the unofficial start of Summer this Memorial Day weekend!

Baked Avocados with Fresh Salsa | www.floatingkitchen.net

When I first read about the idea of baked avocados (it was this post from Food Faith Fitness), I was skeptical. Wouldn’t they get all brown and weird? And who would ever want to eat a warm avocado? The whole concept seemed strange to me. But I was intrigued enough to try it out for myself. And since then, baked avocados have become a staple in my house (along with like every other recipe involving avocados = I’m obsessed).

Baking the avocados causes them to turn extra creamy and soft. And they provide the perfect little vessels for loading up with whatever fresh ingredients you have on hand (in this case, corn, tomatoes, crumbled cheese and cilantro). Any food that you can turn into an edible bowl is a major win in my book. Because boy, do I hate having extra dishes to wash!

Baked Avocados with Fresh Salsa | www.floatingkitchen.net

I like to use crumbled Queso Fresco in this recipe (which is what I’ve called for in the ingredient list below). But for whatever reason, it’s an ingredient that I sometimes have a hard time finding in my grocery store. I’ve substituted crumbled goat cheese or feta cheese in the past, both with great success. So feel free to use whichever of the three cheeses you have/prefer.

These Baked Avocados with Fresh Salsa work as a party appetizer, side dish or mid-afternoon snack. Basically, they are good any time of day. Oh and don’t forget to have a bag of tortilla chips nearby. I think you’ll want them!

Cheers,

Liz

Baked Avocados with Fresh Salsa

Yield: Makes 8 avocado halves

Baked  Avocados with Fresh Salsa

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup Queso Fresco cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1/8 tsp. salt, plus more for seasoning the avocados
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 4 avocados
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the cherry tomatoes, corn, cheese, lime juice, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Cut the avocados in half and remove and discard the seeds. Then slice a small area (about the size of a postage stamp) off the back side (the skin side) of each avocado half. This will give them a flat surface to rest on, preventing them from toppling over during cooking. Be careful not to cut too deeply into the avocado.
  4. Place the avocado halves in a baking dish, flesh side up. Sprinkle with a little salt. Then fill the cavities with a heaping spoonful of the salsa. Transfer the baking dish to your pre-heated oven and bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven. Top with some fresh cilantro and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Serve while still warm.

Notes

1. If you can’t find Queso Fresco, some crumbled feta or goat cheese would be great.

http://www.floatingkitchen.net/baked-avocados-with-fresh-salsa/
  • Quick-Pickled Kumquat Avocado Toast

Quick-Pickled Kumquat Avocado Toast

Posted on March 27, 2017

Avocado toast is a food that I just can’t quit.

I know a lot of folks are feeling kind of “over it” lately. It’s achieved Kardashian-level celebrity status, right up there with kimchi, smoothie bowls and those Starbucks Pink Drinks. But to me, avocado toast isn’t just the latest trend. To me, avocado toast is pure comfort food. It’s the food that I eat when I’m stressed and rushed and struggling to find the time to prepare a “real meal”. And it’s the food that I eat when I just don’t feel like eating. Like this past week, when my heart felt heavy and my house seemed unbearably empty. Avocado toast was the only thing that actually tasted really good to me.

Today’s version includes one of my favorite curious little fruits: kumquats. They are in season right now, so keep your eyes peeled for these sweet-sour gems that look just like miniature oranges.

And speaking of peels, you can eat them. Yup. Not need to peel kumquats (thank goodness because that would be a laborious task!). In fact, the peel is actually the sweeter part of the fruit. It’s the center that packs a pucker-inducing punch!

Quick-Pickled Kumquat Avocado Toast | www.floatingkitchen.net

Last year, I made a Spicy Kumquat and Whipped Ricotta Crostini. And a couple of weeks ago, I spotted these gorgeous Kumquat Honeycomb Tartines from Alanna at The Bojon Gourmet. So it’s been on my mind to create a new version of kumquats on toast.

To that end, I asked my Mom for a few kumquats for a recipe and, of course, she brought me an ENTIRE CASE. Not that I was particularly surprised by this. Because my Mom always goes above and beyond the call of duty (it’s one of her most endearing qualities). But a case of kumquats is A LOT to try and get through. So I’ve been making plenty of dishes with kumquats this week (I might just have to share another one soon!), as well as making pickles, marmalades and chutneys.

Quick-Pickled Kumquat Avocado Toast | www.floatingkitchen.net

These quick-pickled kumquats are exactly as they are named: pickled kumquats that can be made very quickly. I start by slicing each kumquat into 3-4 slices. No need to discard the seeds, but I do remove and discard the tiny woody stem that is sometimes found on the end. Then I boil them briefly to soften the peel and take away some of the bitterness. Finally, I combine the kumquat slices with a easy rice vinegar brine and pop them in the refrigerator to chill. Within an hour, they are ready to consume!

If quick-pickles are known as “quickles”, then are quick kumquat pickles known as “kuickles”?

Quick-Pickled Kumquat Avocado Toast | www.floatingkitchen.net

Because I have so many kumquats, I made myself a couple jars of these quick-pickled kumquats. But you can certainly scale the recipe down, if you prefer. The quick-pickled kumquats should last for a week, maybe more, in your refrigerator.

This Quick-Pickled Kumquat Avocado Toast is just one in which you can enjoy your “kuickles”. Try them on sandwiches, with grilled chicken or fish, or add them to a cheese platter. Or simply eat them straight out of the jar!

Cheers,

Liz

Quick-Pickled Kumquat Avocado Toast

Quick-Pickled Kumquat Avocado Toast

Ingredients

  • For the Kumquats
  • 4 cups kumquat slices
  • 1 cup warm water, plus more for boiling the kumquat slices
  • 1 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper

  • For the Toast
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 slices of bread, toasted
  • Salt
  • Red pepper flakes
  • 10-14 slices pickled kumquats
  • 1/2 cup pea shoots or sprouts
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Add the kumquat slices to a medium pan and cover them with about 1-inch of water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Drain the kumquat slices, discarding the cooking liquid. Divide the drained kumquat slices between two jars (or more or less, depending on what size jars you have) with re-sealable lids.
  2. Stir together the warm water, rice vinegar, maple syrup, salt and black pepper. Pour this mixture into the jar(s) over the kumquat slices, filling the jar(s) to the top. You can discard any leftover liquid. Seal the jar(s) and transfer them to your refrigerator to chill for 1 hour. A longer refrigeration time is okay, too. The quick-pickled kumquats can be stored in your refrigerator for a week, if not longer.
  3. To make the toast, cut the avocado in half. Remove and discard the seed. Scoop out the flesh and place it on the toasted bread. Mash the avocado flesh down with the tines of a fork. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and red pepper flakes. Top with some pickled kumquat slices, pea shoots and a few fresh mint leaves. Drizzle with a little maple syrup, if desired. Enjoy immediately.
http://www.floatingkitchen.net/quick-pickled-kumquat-avocado-toast/

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