March 8, 2010
Pasta With Avocado And Greens
Walking to the chicken pen the other day, I was literally clobbered on the head with a falling avocado. I looked up and I couldn't see the sky from all the branches, leaves and loads upon loads of avocado fruit suspended in the air. The number of avocadoes that lay rotting on the ground ought to have been warning enough of their presence and their abundance.
It only took half an hour and Mitchell's purple container was full. It took a while to collect them because I needed the "catcher on a stick" to pull them down. I decided to leave it at that for the moment. Philomena can come and tackle them if she likes. Last time my almost seventy year old neighbour, climbed our ladder, hopped onto the chicken pen roof and used our "catcher on a stick" to get as many as she could reach. I think we filled four big cartons. No joke. Philomena took three. She guaranteed me they would be alright and that they would keep well in the fridge. She was right.
Besides we shouldn't be too greedy. We have heaps at the top of the tree for the possums, flying foxes, birds and god knows what other creatures that feed on them. All I know is that lately every night I hear at least half a dozen thuds as they hit the ground. I am taking a detour to the chicken pen for a while.
So here I am staring at the avocado picking. I am getting tired of guacamole, but oh well, another batch is coming up. I really need more ideas of how to cook with avocado - although you are not supposed to really cook them. I have been using them on every sandwich or wrap lately and they are delicious. Being organic, they are extra creamy and full of flavour that is noticeably different to the storebought ones in Woolies.
As I scanned through the latest copy of An Honest Kitchen, I noticed a pasta recipe that used avocado. Okay, let's give this a go. I must say, pasta and avocado is something I hadn't really thought about combining so I was intrigued. The great thing about the author is that she really doesn't mind if you follow the recipe to the tee or not. She is all for creating your own twist but even more into using up what you already have in the pantry and fridge as opposed to racing to the shops to get the "right" ingredients. In light of this I know she will understand and forgive me because that is exactly what I have done.
I have avocadoes, pasta, limes and green shallots. I do not have zucchini, sugar snap peas or almonds. Opening the crisper I found a bunch of asparagus, heaps of farmer's market parsley, garlic and bok choy leaves. That will do.
Pasta with Avocado and Greens
(adapted from An Honest Kitchen)
1 1/2 avocadoes, seed removed
juice of 1/2 lemon or lime (my lime tree is loaded)
2 green shallots
one bunch asparagus
one bunch of bok choy leaves
one or two cloves of garlic, crushed
a handful of roughly chopped continental parsley
While the pasta is cooking on the stove, prepare the veggies. Roughly mash the avocado and pour over with the lemon or lime juice. Chop shallots; cut asparagus spears into thirds; place bok choy leaves on top of each other, roll tightly and shred roughly.
Heat a frypan to a fairly high temperature; add asparagus in a little water or if desired a little olive oil. If using oil, you will still need to sprinkle with some water to prevent asparagus from burning. Add the garlic, sautee a little. Toss in the shallots and bok choy shredded leaves; cook only till the leaves wilt. Remove from heat; throw in the parsley.
Drain the pasta, add one teaspoon of olive oil; toss in the avocado and lime juice immediately; agitate the pot to distribute the avocado; Put lid onto pot for another minute or two to help the avocado melt a little.
Complete the dish by adding all the frypan contents to the pasta; season with salt and cracked pepper if desired. Mix thoroughly. Serve immediately.
The avocado tasted lovely and subtle but the lime brought the whole dish to life. I could taste it with every mouthful ensuring the dish retained it's freshness from beginning to end. A wonderful, healthy and vibrant dish.