Tomato and Avocado Toast with Balsamic Syrup

Avocado Toast

 

Avocados.

Hard to believe there was a time I didn’t like them.  When I was younger they seemed weirdly textured, even more weirdly colored, and devoid of taste.  At that time the avocado hadn’t achieved the status it has today, being used primarily for guacamole and not much else.  Even then, the guacamole served in most restaurants was slimy-not the chunky, complex versions of today.

I just finished reading several reviews of Gwyneth Paltrow’s new cookbook, It’s all Easy:  Delicious Weekday Recipes for the Super-Busy Home Cook.  Apparently, it’s a visually beautifully book with overly simple recipes-good for some, but not necessarily for experienced cooks.  Although I haven’t check it out firsthand, one particular reviewer stated they were disappointed to find  several pages  solely dedicated to making avocado toast.  Don’t get me wrong-I like Gwyneth more than the internet does on most days.  I own one of her previous cookbooks, It’s all Good, and I’ve even made a few things from it (it’s been a while, though); however, I acquired the book primarily for the stunning photography by Ditte Isager.

The real question is this:  Do we really need a recipe for avocado toast?

I make avocado toast a lot.  Like, A WHOLE LOT. It’s filling, good for you, and, as with eggs, it can be dressed up pretty nicely and stand in for any meal.    This variation elevates the toast by the addition of tomatoes and an easy to make balsamic syrup that can also be used with other dishes, such as grilled vegetables and salad dressings.

Just for laughs…a love letter to Gwyneth Paltrow’s luxurious cookbook sweaters

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Tomato and Avocado Balsamic Toast

Ingredients

  • 2 pieces multigrain bread, toasted to preference
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Make the balsamic syrup: Heat the vinegar in a small saucepan over low heat until it is reduced to 3-4 Tablespoons. Keep an eye on it-once it starts reducing it cooks fast and I have burned it a time or two. Remove from heat and pour in a small bowl or dish to cool while you assemble your toast.

Layer each piece of toast with avocado and a pinch of red pepper. You can slice the avocado if you want it to be pretty, or simply mash and spread with a fork impatiently like me. Top with tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the vinegar over the toast. Enjoy perfection!

http://fiercelyfresh.com/2016/05/tomato-and-avocado-toast-with-balsamic-syrup/

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Butternut Squash Soup with Rice and Coconut Milk

squash wild rice soup

Just as there are certain cooks that one knows by name alone-Ina, Jamie, Ree-there are food bloggers who have achieved the same status.  Say the name “Heidi” and one undoubtedly knows you must be speaking of Heidi Swanson, recipe creator and photographer of the site “101 Cookbooks”.  Heidi’s first book, “Super Natural Every Day”, was the first natural foods cookbook I ever purchased and continues to be one of the cookbooks I continually fall back on for great dishes.  Heidi has travelled extensively and I couldn’t wait for her new book, “Near & Far:  Recipes Inspired by Home and Travel”, knowing it would be filled not only with fabulous recipes from her trips abroad, but ethereal photographs as well.

Jimmy Fallon Squash

There are no shortage of butternut squash soup recipes on the internet, but many tend to lean toward the sweeter side.  What drew me to this recipe was the inclusion of a serrano chile, giving it just a slight spiciness.  Heidi recommends serving the soup with a scoop of wild rice, rather than adding it into the soup as I did.  You could even use a different cooked grain, such as farro or barley.

Butternut Squash Soup with Rice and Coconut Milk

Ingredients

  • 1/4 Cup coconut oil
  • 2 medium onions, cut into eights
  • 2 large shallots, halved
  • 1 whole serrano chile, stemmed
  • 1 Tbsp sea salt
  • 2 1/2 pounds butternut squash, seeded, peeled, and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp fresh grated or pureed ginger
  • 2-4 cups cooked wild rice blend (I use Royal Blend brand)
  • toppings such as toasted nuts or croutons

Cook the wild rice while you make your soup. I steam mine in my rice cooker (2 cups of rice to 3 cups of water).

Melt the coconut oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, shallots, serrano, and salt. Cook until softened, about 7-10 minutes. Add the squash and the broth. Bring to a simmer and cook until squash is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Stir in the ginger and coconut milk. Add the cooked rice and season with more salt to taste. Top with toasted pumpkin seeds, pepitas, croutons, or yogurt.

http://fiercelyfresh.com/2015/10/butternut-squash-soup-with-rice-and-coconut-milk/
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Wrap it Up: Weekly Link List

Tourny Fountain(Tourny Fountain, Quebec City)

Welcome to the heat wave edition of internet links I’m loving lately.  We traveled to Quebec City and Montreal at the very beginning of the summer.  The mild temperatures were lovely, but it seems like sooooo long ago and I already craving another vacation.

Can’t wait to see this movie, this documentary, or this one

I love and use my fireplace regularly, but here are some ideas if you don’t

A teen trespassed on the set of OITNB and the show responded

How to handle a crisis when traveling abroad

I want every single beautiful thing

Currently listening to this

Can’t wait to make this and these

I enjoyed (and featured) this series last summer and I am happy to see it continue this summer on the Cup of Jo blog:  16 Surprising Things About Parenting in South Korea

Lena Dunham will be launching a newsletter

Have lovely weekend!

 

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