Avocado and Smashed Cucumber Salad, Mirin and Sesame
Recipe by Bill Granger for Australian Avocados
2 large ripe avocados
100g blanched edamame beans
2 tbsp mirin dressing
1 bunch spring onions, finely sliced
1 small bunch of mint, picked and torn
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
100ml sesame oil
40ml rice wine vinegar
20ml lemon juice
Whilst keeping the cucumber in its wrapping, bash it heavily on all sides with a rolling pin. Remove from the plastic and cut roughly into 1" pieces. Tip the cucumber into a large mixing bowl. Halve the avocado and spoon the middle out into the bowl in rough pieces. Add the edamame beans and dress well with the dressing, adding more if needed. Spoon into a large bowl or 4 smaller individual bowls. Sprinkle with the spring onions and toasted sesame and garnish with the mint.
Mix all the ingredients well together and season to taste. Dress the salad immediately. Tip – You can substitute edamame beans for frozen peas.
© Granger Enterprises Ltd 2018
25-Year Anniversary of the Smashed Avo
It's been 25 years since avocado toast first smashed its way into our lives, and now the man credited with starting the worldwide food phenomenon is back with a new twist on the popular dish.
Iconic Aussie restauranteur Bill Granger first put avocado on a piece of toast and served it at his café in Sydney's Darlinghurst back in 1993. Not only did he launch 'brunch' as we now know it, but he also sparked Australia's great love affair with the versatile fruit.
To help Australians celebrate the 25 year milestone, the 'father of smashed avo' has shared his fresh, new avocado go-to dish for 2018 – avocado and smashed cucumber salad with mirin and sesame.
"Avocados bring such a wonderful textural contrast to so many dishes. This salad was inspired by classic, simple Japanese summer salads and brings a new flavour to one of my favourite foods," said Granger.
"Avocados always take on so many flavours and here, soy, sesame and citrus are natural partners to balance the richness of the avocado. This dish is incredibly versatile, I love it."
It's Granger's go-to 'bring-a-plate' at barbeques and he also serves it up with poached or grilled chicken, fish, seafood or rice for dinner.
In 1993, Australians were just beginning to dabble with avocado. A decade later we were munching through an average 1.68kg a year, and today the average Australian eats a whopping 3.5kg of avocados each year – making us the biggest consumers of avocados per capita in the English-speaking world.
Fuelling Australia's passion for avocados is the fruit's health benefits. Avocados are nutrient dense and an excellent source of good fat, which means they are an easy way to make any meal better.
Australian avocado growers have kept up with growing demand in the last two decades and now have planted more than 2 million avocado trees, more than tripling the size of the industry since 1998.
"Avocados are here to stay, the public's love for them just seems to keep going. You won't see another food so passionately talked about and eaten – people are even using them to propose now," said avocado grower and Avocados Australia Board Director, Tom Silver.
"Growers are planting new trees all the time. It takes three to four years for a newly planted avocado tree to bear fruit so as an industry we expect production to increase by around 50 per cent by 2025. That will be around 115,000 tonnes of avocados produced a year," he said.
Their popularity and versatility has seen them make their way onto café menus and home kitchens in everything from smoothies, pasta, sandwiches, salads, icecream, desserts, even coffee.
But for Bill Granger, who now has 18 restaurants worldwide and is in Sydney to open his new restaurant in Surry Hills, smashing an avo still has a special place in his heart.
"Avocado on toast was born because I was looking for something tasty to go with a bloody Mary at breakfast. I added it to the menu and it quickly became a favourite.
"Avocado on toast is still my go-to breakfast, with either salmon or poached eggs. It cannot be beaten," he said.
Australian Avocados is managed by Hort Innovation on behalf of the nation's avocado growers. Hort Innovation is a not-for-profit, industry-owned organisation that delivers more than $100 million in research, development and marketing activities each year.