California Bruschetta

Have you noticed that adding avocado to a dish makes its “Californian”? I suppose it makes sense as California is the largest avocado producer in the US. With all the fresh, amazing avocadoes you can get in California, the uses are endless.

To add my hat into the ring, I have California Bruschetta. Think freshness of Italian bruschetta meets the diverse melting pot of culinary cultures in California. It is fresh, herbaceous, spicy, modern, and inspired by one of my favorite chefs, Andy Baraghani, again.

The secret ingredient is turmeric garlic oil. Who would have thought turmeric would go great with avocadoes and tomatoes? But it does. Turmeric provides this earthy baseline that complements a lot of foods really well without outshining other flavors. It doesn’t have a strong flavor profile like star anise or fennel.

There is pretty much no cooking involved. All you need to do is to cut up your avocado, tomato, and herbs, and then heat up the turmeric and garlic in the oil. Altogether, less than 10 minutes to make. As for the turmeric oil, you can also serve it as a dipping oil for bread and cheeses on a cheese plate.

When choosing an avocado and tomato, you want them to be ripe. For avocados, you want them to have some give. It can hold its shape but with a softness. Also, if you remove the pip where the stem would be, you want to have a bright green color. For tomatoes, you want it to be fragrant. It should be fragrant where the stem would be. Also, the tomato should feel like it is about to burst. Make sure to store them in a dark, cool space, not the refrigerator.

For this dish, use whichever herbs you like. I like to use mint and cilantro because it provides freshness. However, feel free to use basil for some sweetness or verbena for a lemony twist or perhaps tarragon for a fresh bitterness. Whatever you have on hand, it’s hard to go wrong with this.

Ingredients:

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tomato
  • 30g of a mix of your favorite herbs
  • ¼ cups of olive oil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • ¼ tsp of tumeric
  • 1 pinch of chili flakes (optional)
  • Squeeze of lime juice (optional)
  • Bread (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Chop the tomato and avocado in a bowl with the roughly chopped herbs. Slice the garlic thinly and set aside.
  2. In a pan, heat up the olive oil on medium heat. Then add the turmeric. 
  3. Once you can start smelling the turmeric after about 1 minute, add the garlic slices. Cook for about 1 minute or until the garlic turns golden. 
  4. Once the garlic starts to brown, turn off the heat and add the chili flakes. The residual heat will continue to cook the garlic and the chili flakes. Make sure to stir and then let cool for a few minutes. 
  5. In the bowl with the avocado and tomato, mix in the herbs along with a sprinkler of salt and pepper. Once the oil is cooled, add it to the mixture and incorporate well.
  6. Add a garnish of lime juice, and it is ready to serve on some toast. I am using sourdough but feel free to use your favorite bread.  

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