I’ve got this thing about weekend lunches. Kyle’s got this other thing. I feel they should be quick and easy, not requiring thought or time. Kyle, it seems, grew up in Europe where lunches are often have more emphasis than dinner. (He didn’t, by the way.) For me, a sandwich and some fruit or chips or leftovers from during the week make the perfect weekend lunch. For Kyle, roast chicken with herbed potatoes and steamed vegetables are ideal. (Actually, it’s more like hot dogs or burgers on the grill with potato salad and beans.) And I realize that throwing a few dogs on the grill is not complicated by any standard but I grew up with the mindset that the kitchen is closed for lunch on the weekend – make yourself a sandwich or starve…and I’m ok with that.
But I made an exception on the 4th of July – it was a holiday, what can I say? These avocado-chile tartines were just as easy as making a sandwich…and let’s face it, tartines are the European version of sandwiches so I’m still moving with the same train of thought here. Basically, I steeped some garlic and chile flakes in olive oil, grilled some bread, and smashed up some avocado. That’s it. And now I can add an avocado tree to my list of must-grow fruit trees (do they even grow in the northeast?) because between guacamole and these tartines, I could seriously go broke on avocados. Rich, buttery, creamy smashed avocado with a hint of heat on crispy, crunchy grilled bread – the perfect light weekend/day-off lunch.
**Note** – When writing the original recipe, I forgot to include the lime juice; the recipe below has been adjusted to include this.
These tartines would make an excellent and quick weeknight dinner served with a side salad or fabulous appetizers for a party – just grill or toast up small rounds of French bread instead of ciabatta. For our tartines, I used sesame semolina (a crusty Italian bread) but if you can’t find it, ciabatta bread will work too. There will be some leftover chile-oil – it keeps well in the fridge for a couple of weeks and can be brought to room temperature to be used in other recipes (like brushing onto pizza dough before building a pizza).
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ tsp red pepper chile flakes plus extra for sprinkling
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed (skins removed)
- ½ loaf ciabatta or other crusty Italian bread, sliced on the bias (diagonally to maximize surface area), about ½-inch thick
- 2 ripe avocado, pitted, removed from skin, and cubed
- 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Pre-heat grill to medium-high heat (about 400° F).
- In a small saute pan, heat the oil, chile flakes, and garlic over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes, or until the chile flakes and garlic start sizzling. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes – do not let the garlic burn. Remove from the heat and pour the oil through a mesh sieve into a medium bowl. Discard the garlic and chile flakes and set the oil aside for 5 minutes.
- Brush both sides of the bread slices lightly with the oil. Grill both sides of the bread until they are lightly browned and toasted around the edges – this takes about 3 minutes per side.
- While the bread grills, in a medium bowl, smash the avocado with, lime juice, about ¼ tsp salt and a sprinkle of pepper with a fork, leaving some larger chunks, if desired. Stir in 2 teaspoons of the chile-oil.
- Divide the smashed avocado between the grilled bread slices, drizzle with a little extra chile-oil and sprinkle the tops with extra chile flakes before serving. Serve the avocado at room temperature while the bread is still warm from the grill.
source: inspired by Bon Appetit Magazine, July 2012