3 + 1 + 1

Za’atar Avocado

A simple and delicious way to treat a perfectly ripe avocado

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Take three ingredients, take one more if you want, and then — maybe — take just one more. It’s as simple as that. These very straightforward recipes can be made with minimum effort and ingredients, but the more things you add, the better they get. The only ingredient I’m going to assume you have already is salt and pepper, everything else gets added to the total. However, feel free to use these ideas as starting points for your own experimenting based on what you have to hand.

I’m not sure when avocado prices became a kind of social barometer but I must be internalizing it somehow because I nearly fainted when I walked past a local vegetable shop and saw they were only $2 each. Considering they’ve been anywhere from $5 to $15 in recent memory, I knew it would be false economy not to buy them. With something is as rarified and precious as an avocado, there’s nothing wrong with just driving a spoon straight into it. A few embellishments, however, can make it even more of a solitary treat. If you can manage to catch an avocado of your own, you might consider this recipe.

Za’atar Avocado

Avocado + balsamic vinegar + sumac

Fill the cavity of your halved avocado with sweet, fulsome balsamic vinegar and sprinkle generously with sumac (salt and pepper would be ideal here too.) This gives you a fantastic contrast between the creamy, bland avocado flesh and the sourness of both the vinegar and the gorgeously red, lemony-flavoured sumac.

+Thyme leaves

Sprinkle over thyme leaves — a couple of pinches should do it — which will add resiny, fragrant herbal intensity. Fresh or dried are both fine here, just use what you have. You could also consider oregano or marjoram, or even rosemary, which has a particularly full-on flavour.

+Toasted sesame seeds

Sprinkle over a couple of teaspoon of sesame seeds that you’ve toasted gently in a small saucepan. The sesame seeds and avocado both share a delicious nuttiness of flavour and the dish now has texture — and extra protein. The combination of sumac, dried thyme, and sesame seeds is known as Za’atar in Middle Eastern cooking and it’s wonderful on flatbreads with olive oil, sprinkled over roasted vegetables, mixed through toasted nuts — there’s not much it can’t uplift.

Food blogger and author from New Zealand. Writing at hungryandfrozen.com; Twitter at @hungryandfrozen; and exclusive stuff at Patreon.com/hungryandfrozen.

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