Avocado – making a meal of it.
Exploring simple combinations of fruits and sauces
The journey started simply, when I wanted to use up a tomato ( it’s a fruit !), and so the avocado and red fruit combination started. It continued with inspiring restaurant presentations of avocado and fruit – in nice, neat timbal (or timbale ) presentations.
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The first combination – inspired by caprese salad.
Replace the buffalo mozzarella with large, ripe, salad tomatoes. Simply add a good sprinkle of flaked sea salt and black pepper to taste, plus some good extra virgin olive oil, and / or balsamic. Present as creatively as you like ! Sometimes I like t spread it all out like a picture, sometimes in layers… but that’s not always so easy if your avocado is very soft.
I made this dish in the Canaries, with avocado straight from the farm. There are two types growing – I’ll find out the names when i get back there ! For now, let’s call them the smaller darker rough skin type, and the larger smooth skin type. The large ones were really sweet so worked well with tomato here.
So simple, tasty, and complete as a light lunch.
The journey continues as I find various fruit with avocado, or smoked salmon with avocado (with a fruit added as a smaller 3rd ingredient ) Always presented in beautiful neat stack like a tall terrine. Timbales are the tool you need to make these. I’ll start this post now and as I investigate making the salmon dishes… I’ll add these to the post too….I need a timbale first. In the old days, Paul had some made from steel pipes but I’ll show you a better way !
Second inspiration – avocado strawberry timbale
I love playing with my food ? and was Inspired to mix fruit with avocado after we had a delicious timbale of avocado with strawberries ( perfectly paired with a rosé cava ) at a restaurant that has fast become one of our favourite places to eat or even just have a cocktail… Ambigù in Palma, Mallorca.
as far as I could gather …
avocado , strawberries, a dash of lime juice, basil, pesto
and you’ll need one of these.
Which fruit is best to compliment the avocado ?
I couldn’t get strawberries that day, so I was wondering what else would work in the same way as the strawberries. Something small, sweet, and juicy. Grapes ! I knew how much Paul loves his grapes too so that would be a good start to him liking the dish – unless he would think it was an adulteration. I picked large plum coloured juicy grapes, halved and de-stoned them for this dish. I also wanted the red colour to contrast with the avocado green. It was a huge success – and was so filling that it’s all we had for dinner.
” Colour, texture, taste ” I always think when putting dishes together. I’m not a chef but I know what I want to see and taste, so working this way with our chefs (at our old restaurant gastro mk) took us a very long way to a great dish !
for 2 people…
2 handfuls sweet red ? grapes
2 teaspoons green basil pesto
Salt flakes, cracked black pepper, balsamic vinegar
Here’s the simple method.
1. Slice the grapes in half and de-seed. Put in a Bowl, Add a dash of balsamic vinegar, mix and leave in the fridge while you prepare the rest.
2. Spice the avocado in half, de-stone, and take the skin off.
3. Spread a heaped spoonful of pesto all over each serving plate .
4.Roughly cube each half avocado by slicing 3 times through the length and depth of it.
5.Place the avocado on the dish
6.Top it with the grapes.
7. Spring a little salt and grind lots of black pepper on top.
If I had a basil leaf I would have topped it with that but we had to use bought pesto.
Would be great on a buffet table too.
Add lime, or not ?
I only learned later that the Ambigu dish having some lime juice in it. Although my plate was delicious – and I probably had a thicker pesto with more whole pine nuts still in it. I’m guessing the dash of lime brightens the dish up, bit the grapes were so juicy and the avocado so ripe that I don’t think it’s necessary here. ( I’ll try that next time – at the end, just before serving.)
I did manage to get the strawberries later and made the dish the same way. It wasn’t as nice as the grape combo i made before, and also not as good as the Ambig dish – so with the strawberries I think the lime is definitely needed to boost the flavour.
So versatile !
Hope you like it and get inspired to just throw some savoury sweets together either on a warm summer day, or in another season as a starter to help you think of days in the sun !
Next… smoked salmon, tuna tartare with avocado and fruit
I’ll let you know, by email if you’re a subscriber, when I have experimented with recipes and can share the delicious dishes I taste in restaurants ( see the latest tasty treat below !)
So far, mango seems to feature with the smoked salmon so go ahead and have a play and let me know any recipes or tips you have in the comments or by email. if you’re not a subscriber yet – just sign up here.