Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Heidi Swanson's Avocados and Mustard Seeds


Dear Avocados, you're so creamy, delicious, rich and flavorful. I've turned you into cold soup and sliced you with grapefruit. I've tossed you in salads and eaten you whole (minus your pit and skin). I am, officially, an avocado aficionado. But around the time we left Brooklyn, my delicious avocados, you were almost 3 bucks a pop. 
I was wondering if there was some kind of avocado-blight. Maybe something similar to the blight that wiped out potatoes during the Great Potato Famine in Ireland? Or something similar to the fungus that hit our tomato share last summer? Why were they so expensive? I never did get to the bottom of that inquiry, but now it hardly matters. Here in Denver I've been finding avocados for .89 cents each and that means I'm busting out my avocado recipes.  
I've become particularly fond of this one for Avocado and Mustard Seed. I first spotted the recipe in Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every Day. But the original source for Heidi's adaptation was Julie Sahni (and her Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking). Since I'm a big fan of both Julie and Heidi, I knew this dish would become a favorite. And it has. 
You can serve this as a starter/dip or as a side. It's a great way to do something more creative with your avocado. So if you like chilies, cilantro and curry, this has got your name on it. The serrano's heat melds beautifully with the curry powder, mustard seeds and onions. It's, like, the perfect dip for that Sunday football game...go Broncos?! (Did I just type that? Next thing you know I'll be buying fleece from REI. Just kidding. That will never happen.)
Be sure to use ripe avocados. Oh, and definitely DO NOT wipe your eyes after handling the serrano chile. I made that mistake earlier today and I'm still feeling the burn. Ouch.
Enjoy!


Avocados and Mustard Seeds (Courtesy of Heidi Swanson, Super Natural Every Day)
Yields about 2 cups 
Ingredients
2 ripe avocados
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Scant 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt (don't heap the teaspoon)
1/2 cup coarsley chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon clarified butter or extra-virgin coconut oil (I used coconut oil for the first time.  I found a jar at Sunflower Farmers Market.)
1 teaspoon black or brown mustard seeds
1 small yellow onion, mined
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon Indian curry powder
1 small serrano chile, minced
Directions
Cut each avocado in half, remove the pit, and scoop the flesh into a small bowl. Add the lemon juice, salt, and most of the cilantro. Mash the avocados a bit with a fork, but don't overdo it-- you want the mixture to be quite chunky. Set aside.
Heat the clarified butter or oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When it is hot, add the mustard seeds. Keep a lid on hand because the seeds will scatter as they pop. When the spattering stops, after about a  minute, stir in the onion and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Stir in the garlic, curry powder, and chile.  
Count to ten, and then remove from heat. Stir in the avocado mixture, but just barely, and transfer to a serving bowl. Serve warm or at room temperature. Garnish with remaining cilantro. 
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1 comment:

  1. I got Super Natural a few months ago and made this again last week. I put a big dollop on top of some tomatoes. It was out of this world. Nice pick. -Roberta

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