The avocado extravaganza that I eluded to last week continues today.
But here is the thing. These Sweet Potato and Broccoli Crostini with Avocado and Za’atar, in all their plant-based, carbolicious glory, seem rather trivial and trite at the moment. Because as you’ve probably noticed, things in this country are getting bad. Like real bad.
And yes, I know that this blog is a place for sharing recipes, photography and the occasional bad joke. I understand that those are the reasons why you’ve come here today, why you’ve visited in the past and why (hopefully) you’ll be back in the future. I get it. Really I do. And that is precisely why I don’t get overly personal in this space on a regular basis.
But to stand by and say nothing, seems wrong. Silence isn’t an option anymore. Things aren’t normal. And I can’t (and won’t) act like they are. I don’t support the decisions being made by our President. And I’m fighting those decisions in ways that I know how to do – like by signing petitions, donating money to reputable organizations, contacting my elected officials and joining protests.
I hope that many of you are doing some of these very same things.
I’m also eating my feelings. And I’m not ashamed to admit that these Sweet Potato and Broccoli Crostini with Avocado and Za’atar have been getting me through some tough moments. As an extreme lover of avocado toast, the combination of bread and smashed avocado has basically evolved into my version of comfort food. It soothes me. Screw alcoholic beverages, bubble baths and massages. Just give me avocado toast.
As with a lot of crostini recipes, this one is pretty customizable. Butternut squash would be great. You could try roasted cauliflower instead of the broccoli. And a drizzle of balsamic vinegar or agave nectar would be a nice addition, too. Oh and of course a little cheese never hurts. I left it out to keep these little appetizers vegan (just be sure to check the ingredient list on your bread). But goat cheese plus avocado is a favorite combination of mine, and I know it would work beautifully here in this recipe, if you’re so inclined.
Peace, love and respect.
You know that avocado ripening trick that involves placing unripe avocados in a brown paper bag with bananas? Yes? Well, I had heard of this hack many times, but I had never actually done it myself, until about 2 weeks ago when I purchased eight rock-hard avocados that needed a quick fix. I figured I had nothing to lose, so I slipped them into a big brown grocery bag with two bananas, folded over the top and waited. And HOLY SH*T IT TOTALLY WORKED! Within two days, I had the most perfectly ripe avocados ever. My excitement runneth over.
I must admit that I was skeptical about the efficacy of this ripening trick. But now that I’ve seen it in action for myself, I’m fully on board with this procedure. It’s legit. If you’re not doing this yet, you need to start ASAP. And that’s my public service announcement for the week. You’re welcome.
Anyways. So I quickly went from having zero ripe avocados to having waaaaay too many ripe avocados. Hence today’s recipe for Jalapeño and Goat Cheese Guacamole with Baked Plantain Chips. And…I have another avocado recipe planned for next week. It’s going to be an avocado party up in this place!
I don’t think I’ve ever met a guacamole that I didn’t like. I have a pretty standard recipe that I make all the time for myself. And I use it on everything from toast to tacos. But today, I decided to spice things up a bit by adding in a whole diced jalapeño pepper. Does that sound scary to you? If so, just start with half a jalapeño pepper, then you can add in more if you want to after you taste it. But I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the level of spiciness. It’s balanced really well by the coolness from the lime juice, cilantro and goat cheese. Your mouth won’t be burning up. Trust me.
You can certainly serve this guacamole with regular tortilla chips. But I thought baked plantain chips sounded like a fun (and slightly healthier) option. Look for plantains that are still green, which are firmer and more starchy than those that are fully ripe. These are important characteristics for successfully making baked plantain chips.
If you’ve ever tried to peel a green plantain before, you know it’s a labor of love. The peel is so stiff, that it can’t be removed by hand the way you would typically remove a banana peel. Instead, you have to cut the peel off with a knife. Well, I suck at doing this. I usually end up making a total mess out of things, wasting a lot of the plantain flesh in the process. So this time, I decided to try my trusty vegetable peeler in lieu of a knife and that worked great! You’ll have to go over each spot a couple of times to make sure you remove all of the peel and get down to the flesh. But I found it to be a much easier and more efficient method for me.
Both the plantain chips and the guacamole are really best when served within a couple hours of preparation. So make sure you plan to make and eat everything on the same day. And heck, you might even want to try out my Jalapeño and Goat Cheese Guacamole with Baked Plantain Chips at your Super Bowl party this year…if you’re into that sort of thing. And if you want more plantain inspiration, try these vegetarian plantain tacos!