I always find myself with a surplus of ripe avocados since I usually get the big bag of Haas avocados from Costco. There are your usual culprits for avocado usage – guacamole, salad fixings – but I get bored with the norm easily. So I went to the food blogs and found inspiration on Tastespotting.com: Avocaodo Chimichurri Brushetta. Brilliant!
I was first introduced to chimichurri in college when a friend barbecued some flank steak and served it with this mouthwatering green sauce known as chimichurri. Since then I have been making my own version, trying to recreate what I had that summer day in college. Chimichurri is an Argentinian green sauce (though there is a red version as well) made with parsley, garlic, oil, and some sort of acid (red or white vinegar or even lemon juice). Additional flavorings such as red pepper flakes, paprika, oregano, cumin, thyme, and cilantro may also be added. Chimchurri can really be used for anything: as a salad dressing, as a salsa, as a marinade, you get the point.
Like all things, I like to add my own special twist and to my chimichurri – I add honey. Purists out there are probably cringing at the thought of honey in chimichurri, but I think it creates a good balance against the acidity of the vinegar and the nuttiness of the olive oil.
For the brushetta, you won’t need nearly as much parsley and cilantro that is normally called for in a chimichurri recipe. And for those of you who hate cilantro (how could you?!), you can omit the cilantro altogether. I prefer to grill my slices of bread, but I was feeling lazy and just toasted them in the oven. Just don’t forget to rub some raw garlic on the warm slices of bread – you’ll be amazed at how much garlic flavor that simple action imparts on the bread.
(photos by Vicky)
Here is my version of Avocado Chimichurri Brushetta:
Yields 3 servings
2 ripe avocados
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (if not using cilantro, compensate with parsley)
1/2 shallot finely diced
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. honey
Olive oil enough to bring everything together
Salt and pepper to taste
6 slices of thick Italian bread (or baguette)
Olive oil to brush on slices of bread
1 garlic, peeled and cut in half
Cut the avocados in half, take out the pit, and cut avocado into cubes.
Combine avocados, parsley, cilantro, shallots, red wine vinegar, honey and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Brush olive oil on slices of bread and grill on each side for a couple of minutes, or toast in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 min.
Rub the cut side of a raw garlic on grilled or toasted bread slices. Spread avocado mixture on bread and serve.