Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What's for Breakfast? Avocado Frittata for Starters.

Avocado And Feta Frittata. Photo from Avocados from Mexico.

WHEN most people, at least in the United States, think about how to eat avocados they think guacamole or salad. In effect this fine fruit with Mexican roots is rendered to the category of dip, condiment and salad ingredient.

‘Tis a pity, because there are myriad ways to enjoy avocados, including as a breakfast food. In California, which produces most of the avocados consumed in the United States, June is avocado month.

Seems no other place decided to give it its own month. Not even Mexico, which is the home of the avocados called for in certain dishes about to be revealed. That written, breakfast won’t be ruined if an avocado from elsewhere is substituted.

Why not celebrate Avocado Month by commencing the day with an Avocado and Feta Frittata:

6 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/3 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon oil
2 cups baby arugula, divided

Hass avocado. Photo from Hass Avocado Board Web site.

Preheat broiler. In a medium bowl, beat eggs with salt and pepper. Stir in half of the avocado, half of the feta and half of the tomatoes; set aside. Heat oil (can be from the tomatoes) in a 9-inch oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Stir in 1-1/2 cups of the arugula until wilted, about 30 seconds. Add beaten egg mixture.

Cook until eggs start to set, lifting sides a bit to let uncooked egg run underneath, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and tomatoes. Transfer skillet to broiler. Cook until eggs are set, 1 to 2 minutes; remove from broiler. Sprinkle with remaining avocado and arugula. Serve hot.

YIELD: 4 to 6 servings

Perhaps time does not allow for a meal as elaborate as a frittata. Perfectly understandable. Not a problem when it can come in the more portable form of an
Avocado Lime Yogurt Parfait:

Avocado lime yogurt parfait. Photo from Avocados from Mexico.

1 avocado, halved, pitted and peeled
2 cups vanilla yogurt
1 tablespoon lime juice
1-1/2 teaspoons grated lime peel, divided
3 cups diced fruit
1 cup granola
YIELD: 4 servings

Is that grumbling? About fat, yes? That is correct. Avocados are high in fat. But it’s the heart-healthy unsaturated fat in the main, and everyone should consume some amount of fat. This is breakfast, after all, the meal that one should eat like a king/queen, leaving ample time in the day to burn off those calories. Moreover, avocados are high in fiber; they have cholesterol-lowering properties; they are packed with vitamins and contain potassium.

Avocado toast with fried egg. Photo from Avocados from Mexico.

With those bonafides, the morning meal calls for Avocado Toast With Fried Egg

4 slices bread
2 avocados, halved, pitted and peeled
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 fried eggs*

Toast bread; set aside. In a medium bowl, coarsely mash avocados with salt. Spread toast with mashed avocado and top with fried egg. Season with salt and pepper.
YIELD: 4 servings
*For scrambled version, top avocado toast with a slice of tomato and 4 scrambled eggs

Avocado toast with scrambled egg. Photo from Avocados from Mexico.

A common misconception is that avocados are mainly the province of Mexico and California. How far from the truth! Avocados have gotten around and have different shapes and colors, depending on where they are grown, though most are descended from the California Hass variety. It has an oval shape and pebbled black skin.

Avocados are enjoyed as dessert and savory concoctions in Argentina, Australia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Morocco, India, Indonesia, Vietnam and numerous other countries. In parts of India, avocados are popular as milkshakes. Not so different from an Avocado Pineapple Smoothie:

1 fully ripened avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and diced
1 (20-ounce) can pineapple chunks in juice
1 cup ice

Avocado breakfast smoothie. Photo from Avocados from Mexico.

In blender container, combine avocado, pineapple and its juice and ice; whirl until smooth. Sweeten with honey or sugar if desired.
YIELD: 4 cups

A savory breakfast along the lines of what the minimalist Ghanaian do at any meal – with avocado on bread, period – with a few more add-ons is Bagels and Lox with Avocado Spread. The avocado replaces the cream cheese or butter for diary-free diets.

4 bagels, split
2 avocados, halved, pitted and peeled
4 teaspoons lemon juice
8 slices smoked salmon
4 slices red onion

Bagel and lox with avocado spread. Photo from Avocados from Mexico.

Toast bagels; set aside. In a medium bowl, coarsely mash avocados with lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Spread bagels with mashed avocado; top with salmon and onion.
YIELD: 4 servings

Basically, this is an exercise in “pimping” your avocados. As guacamole and in a salad is fine, but isn’t a frittata so much sexier?

Happy avocado month!

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