Avocados for all of my university life were a fruit of luxury. I would never buy them. The only time I would eat them is if I was home for the holidays. Sure they were only $2.50 a pop but as a student, $2.50 could have also bought me a lot of potatoes. Even now as a tax paying and contributing member of society I am reluctant to spend more than $2 on an avo. mainly I think it is because sometimes they are so hit and miss and there is nothing worse than forking out $4 for a single fruit and going home to find that it is riddled with black spots. Utter heartbreak.
Avocados go really well with Salmon and Latkes, two foods I rarely ate in abundance before I met my friend Sophie M. Now it seems every week we have a date with these three items. The other day she taught me how to make proper latkes. Of course I then went off and bastardised them with my kumara and making them thinner than they should be because both of those things make them extra delicious and crisp.
I wish I had discovered latkes during my uni days. They would have probably surpassed my staple of the corn fritter. All you need to serve two is about 5 potatoes the size of a bar of soap, 1 egg, salt and half an onion. Pretty much all the ingredients a destitute pantry is likely to have.
In order to bulk out the avocado and to add extra goodness to it I have smashed it up with edamame beans and some rogue peas that I found in the freezer. The beans and peas give the smash a really great chunky texture but the flavour of the avocado still shines through. The edamame beans are also a good source of protein to help make this easy dinner more filling.
Avocado Smash with Golden Kuamra Latkes
1 ripe avocado, mashed
1/2 onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup shelled edamame beans (I buy mine frozen)
1/2 cup peas (again these come form my freezer)
1/2 cup vegetable stock
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt to taste
Golden Kumara Latkes
1 medium sized golden kumara (the size of your fists put together) - any colour kumara will suffice though
2 medium sized potatoes
1 large egg
Vegetable oil for frying
Saute the onion and garlic in a small saucepan until translucent. Add in the frozen peas, edamame beans and stock. bring to the boil and cook for 5 minutes until the greens are tender. Take either a potato masher or a small processor and mash up the beans and peas until they are on the smooth side of chunky. Mix in the avocado and add the lemon juice and salt to taste. I like my smash quite tangy so I tend to use a whole lemon.
Grate the kumara, potatoes and onion into a bowl. Take a clean tea towel or muslin and place about a third of the grated mix in the centre. Twist the towel around the potato mix and squeeze out as much of the liquid as you can. You want the vegetable to be as dry as possible; The drier the vegetables the crispier the latke. Repeat this with the other two thirds of grated vegetables. In a large bowl, mix the egg, salt and vegetables together. Heat a non-stick frying pan with a splash of oil. Take small handfuls of latke mixture and shape them into discs about 15mm thick. Fry until each side is golden brown.
Stack up two piles of latkes and serve each with a good dollop of avo smash. If you are feeling balla rich then smoked salmon goes down a treat too. But whatever you do DO NOT USE SALMON LOX. Sophie M hates those :P Lox are the thin strips of salmon that have been brined. She is hilariously hateful of them.