I saw a post on Lucy’s Friendly Foods the other day, where she mentioned her avocado mayonnaise. For some reason, the idea of avocado mayonnaise wouldn’t go out of my head, then, so I had to make my own and slather it on a giant sandwich. At least, the sandwich was giant in my mind… In reality, it seemed not to be a day for bread baking (I blame the position of the moon) and so the rolls I was making didn’t turn out as tall and proud as I’d imagined. However, I still made a sandwich of reasonable proportions – and the avocado mayo was absolutely delicious.
I changed things up and made more of a spread than a mayo. I also made it on the chopping board, rather than in a food processor, blender or even bowl, and I’m really pleased with how that worked out. You see Jamie Oliver making stuff right on the chopping board a lot, so I felt quite fancy as I was working on it. This is probably the main benefit of preparing the avocado spread this way; the secondary bonus is that you don’t have any extra dishes to wash, which to me is a big deal. Washing the dishes is pretty low on my list of priorities, and these days that’s one looooooong list!
So, to the avocado spread. I will preface this by saying that I love a good guacamole, and have a go-to, memorised in my brain recipe for it (which I once wrote about here), but fancied doing something different with avocado, for a change. This was the end result:
- 1 small avocado
- juice of 1/2 small lime
- 1/8 – 1/4 tsp dijon mustard
- big pinch of sea salt
- several turns of black pepper
- splash white wine vinegar
- dash of cold-pressed rapeseed oil (optional)
- dash paprika or cayenne pepper (optional)
First, peel the avocado and roughly chop. Don’t throw the stone away.
Add the lime juice, mustard, salt and pepper and vinegar, then MASH TO A PULP with your knife. You may also want to employ a fork. Do wear goggles lest you get mustard in your eye, in your fervent mashing state.
When very mashed, add a drizzle of oil, if you like – avocado is so rich already you might not want it, but it does add a certain unctuousness, and if nothing else it’s nice to have a valid reason to use that word.
Continue mashing and mixing, with fork or knife as you prefer, until you reach your desired consistency. I preferred it with some texture remaining but Lucy has hers completely smooth – depends on preference and how long you’re willing to mash for, really. Taste the spread and add more seasoning and a tiny hint of cayenne or paprika, if you like.
Now, you will be looking at your chopping board (and possibly hands) and going ‘urgh, look, there’s avocado everywhere’. Well, firstly, wash your hands (this should be self evident). As for the chopping board, fear not! Simply scrape up all the dressing, in two or three goes, with your knife, scooping it up onto the blade horizontally and then turning the knife vertically to drop the spread into a suitable container. This means you won’t drop any round the edges of the container, and you’ll scrape up almost every last drop from the board.
To preserve any leftover spread for a day or two (this works a bit, though not perfectly), put the avocado stone in the bowl you’re storing it in, make sure it’s tightly covered, and refrigerate. The avocado will still go a bit grey but not as much as if you’d left the stone out, and the flavour is still good. Just eat with your eyes closed.
To go with this spread (or, for the spread to go with), I had envisaged The Ultimate Sandwich – ultimate for that moment of imagining, anyway. It was more or less this Dutch Crunch sandwich from last year but with added avocado, and I looked forward to it for a couple of days. Alas, when it came to making the bread, a few things went a little wrong, and while I still ended up with edible rolls, they weren’t the crackled beauties I had in mind.
James R suggested on Facebook that this might be the Penultimate Sandwich, which was ominous but stuck in my head, nonetheless…
I layered up pea shoots, tomato, strong Campbeltown cheddar, turkey breast and avocado spread on my servicable-if-not-perfect white roll, and it was almost everything I’d been dreaming of. It’s always disappointing when something doesn’t turn out as you hope – especially when you’ve invested a lot of time in it – but it’s best to appreciate it for itself, really.
After all, it might be the second last sandwich you ever eat.