Japanese Broiled Avocado
Savory dashi upgrades the delicious fruit.
"While avocados are most commonly consumed in their raw state, when warm they become unusually texturally compelling," says chef John Fraser of New York City's Nix.
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
1/2 cups neutral oil, such as grape seed
½ cup garlic, thinly sliced
2 cups dashi*
½ cup fresh lemon juice
½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
¼ cup sherry vinegar
1 bunch red watercress
1 cup nasturtium leaves
1 cup sunflower sprouts
*To make the dashi in advance, combine .7 ounces kombu and 4 cups of water and steep in the refrigerator overnight. Strain just before making citrus-soy dashi. Or, if you are making the day of, combine the kombu and water in a sauce pot and bring to a simmer. Steep for 20 minutes.
1. In a small bowl, combine poppy, black sesame, white sesame, and sunflower seeds and stir. Set seed mix aside.
2. Heat neutral oil in medium sauce pan over medium heat. When oil is hot, add sliced garlic and cook until light brown, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer garlic chips to paper towel-lined plate. Set garlic chips aside to cool.
3. In a medium pot over medium heat, combine the dashi, lemon juice, and soy sauce. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and keep the citrus-soy dashi warm.
4. Turn on oven to low broil with rack approximately 6-inches away from heat source. Cut both avocados in half. Remove the pit and scoop avocado out from peel, keeping it whole. Transfer avocados to baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt. Position the halves pit-side down on roasting rack. Broil until the avocados are lightly charred and cooked through, about 5 to 8 minutes.
5. While the avocados are cooking, in a medium bowl, combine sherry vinegar and ¼ cup olive oil and whisk. In a large bowl, combine the watercress, nasturtium, and sunflower sprouts, along with two tablespoons sherry vinaigrette. Sprinkle with salt and toss.
To Serve: Place half of a warm avocado in a bowl. Ladle 6 ounces of warm dashi over each avocado and top with ¼ of the greens, 1 tablespoon of the mixed seeds, and 1 tablespoon of the crispy garlic.
Photos By: Christine Han