Styling sliced avocados has to be a food stylist’s nightmare. No wonder I saw so many photos of only whole, halved or avocados combined with other fruits or vegetables, or typically made into guacamole. Working with the slippery little slices took much longer to style and photograph than to eat and I did end up eating my many mistakes. Even though avocados have “good” fat, it’s fat, nevertheless! Anyone reading this have any tips on styling sliced avocados, I’d love to hear from them. I finally gave up on the slices and chopped them seen in the first photo below. Despite the issues with styling, etc., this simple avocado appetizer decorated with ribbons of an ancho chile roasted red pepper sauce has loads of flavor. The contrast between the slightly spicy sauce and the buttery smooth avocado was a delight to my palate!
Avocados are readily available year round, but this winter fruit is cheapest beginning in February and becoming more expensive in the Fall months. Most of the avocados in the USA come from California with the Hass (rhymes with “pass”) variety the more well known of the many varieties. Pear shaped with crinkled skin, one can see why the Hass avocado is often called an alligator pear. Inside lies a small to medium seed nestled between light green creamy textured fruit. Usually bought rock hard and unripe, the avocado will ripen very successfully at room temperature within 3-5 days. At this point, the avocados can be refrigerated for about 5 days.
Avocado with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
2 ripe, but slightly firm Hass avocados, (see below-how to peel an avocado)
2 roasted and peeled red peppers, homemade or bottled
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder, or for a spicier sauce, 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder and 1/4 teaspoon ancho chile powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Quarter, peel and slice the avocado, see below. Add the remaining ingredients to the jar of a food processor or blend. Puree into a smooth sauce, stopping the machine as needed to scrape down the jar with a spatula. Transfer to a plastic squeeze bottle. Refrigerate several hours to improve the sauce.
When ready to serve the sliced avocados, place ribbons of the roasted red pepper sauce down the avocado slices. Serve immediately.
How to peel and slice an avocado:
Halve each avocado, unpeeled, remove the pit and slice in half again. Peel the quarters by slipping your thumb between the flesh and skin, just sliding down to separate the two. Now slice each piece into 4 slices lengthwise. Place on a plate.
Recipe adapted from The Feast of Santa Fe by Huntley Dent