Saturday, March 2, 2013

Avocado Grilled with Goat Cheese--Easy and Delicious

There is always a right moment to share a good recipe and today's is one of my favorite.

This dish, with avocado in the main role, became one of my most popular dinner starters, when I have friends over. It is easy and can be prepared all year long as avocados are one of the most common vegetables, available in any season.

So I always have avocados in my kitchen since my whole family loves them. They are very nutritious; rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, proteins, as well as vitamins A, E, C, and B.

The only trick with avocados is to catch them at the right moment. I buy them still hard and let them ripen at home. It is said that if you put avocados among apples it speeds up the process. When they get to the right point of softness they can be refrigerated for a couple of days to preserve that perfect point.

In one of the French magazines a saw a recipe for a grilled avocado and goat cheese. Right away this combination seemed to me very interesting. I could imagine how a salted, well defined goat cheese can complement a rather mild and oily avocado. And the idea of grilling it seems very intriguing.

But instead serving it plain just with salad I also prepared a fresh tomato sauce to serve with the avocado and lighten a bit the whole dish. With a little bit of mache or arugula it became instantly a huge culinary hit among my guests. So today, I finally share this recipe.

Avocados Grilled with Goat Cheese
(Serves four>

2 medium avocados (have at least extra one in case they are not perfectly greenish inside)
about 4 oz log (four 1/2-inch thick slices) of goat cheese,
2 medium tomatoes, blanched, peeled off, and chopped,
1 small shallot,
1 tbsp olive oil,
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar,
a few grape or cocktail tomatoes,
arugula or mache leaves to decorate,
2 tbsp chopped chives,
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cut avocados in half and remove gently the stone without destroying the flesh.
2. Place chopped tomatoes in a high wall container, add shallot, olive oil, and vinegar and, using a hand blender, make a smooth pure.
3. Prepare serving plates and divide the tomato sauce among the plates.
4. Preheat boiler to 400 F. Place avocados on a small baking form. On each half put a slice of goat cheese and put the form close to the broiler. Grill for about three minutes until the cheese melts and turns slightly gold.
5. Take the avocados from the oven and place on top of the tomato sauce. Season generously with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with chives. Decorate with grape tomato halves and salad leaves.
Serve with baguette.