Avocado on toast or buy a house? While we realise that’s not really a legitimate comparison, there are plenty of us in The Carousel office who would choose Avo on toast, every time. What we didn’t realise, was the different varieties of avocado that are available throughout the year. OK, maybe it was just me, but damn, I love avos!
For instant, one thing I had no idea about was that right now, The Shepard Avocado is enjoying its time in the sun, or rather, on our toast, in our salads and even in our snacks!
The harvest of this sweet, nutty, buttery fruit is happening now, which means that over 70 million avocados will hit grocery store shelves between now and May, 2021.
How Can I Tell Which Avocado Is Which?
Good question! Oftentimes, to the unskilled avo-lover (like me), avocados all look the same, but there are a few clues to tell the difference. For instance, the Shepherd Avocado is known for its green glossy skin that stays that colour even when ripe. It also has a firmer and it doesn’t turn brown after cutting open, which makes it a must for those conscious of food waste. Its longer and more elongated shape also helps differentiate it from it’s chubbier cousin, the Hass Avocado (that’s good chubby, though – all those skin-saving antioxidants and Omega fatty acids!).
Celebrity Chef Luke Hines Beet Nachos with Chunky Zesty Shepherd Avocado Salsa
To celebrate the start of the Shepard avocado season, we asked clean-living-foodie and author, Luke Hines to share his fave Shepherd Avocado recipe.
Luke says, “Nothing is smoother, creamier or more versatile than the Shepard avocado. I’ve been a huge fan of them for years as they’re great to slice, dice or even smoothie.
“Every year when Shepard avos are in season I race out and grab a bunch and can’t wait to get back into the kitchen to trial new and classic avocado inspired recipes.”
Beet Nachos – The How To!
This mix of yellow and purple crispy beetroot chips, with chunky Shepard avocado salsa, also features creamy, easy to make macadamia cheese, fresh tomato and herbs.
For Your Crunchy Beet Base
3-4 large beetroot, rinsed and scrubbed (2 yellow + 2 purple) olive or avocado oil or oil spray
4 tomatoes, finely diced
2 tablespoons coriander leaves, finely choppedsea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season
Chunky Zesty Shepard Avocado Salsa
2 Shepherd avocados
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakesjuice and zest of 1 lime
Creamy Macadamia Cheese
2 cups macadamia nuts, soaked in 125ml filtered water for one hour, drained
1/2 tsp sea salt
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- Preheat the oven to 190C and place an oven rack in the centre of the oven. Line two baking trays with baking paper.
- Using a mandoline or sharp knife, slice the beetroot as finely as possible (they should curl a little when cut). Divide the slices between the prepared trays and spray or very lightly drizzle with the oil, season with salt and pepper and toss well to coat.
- Arrange the coated slices in a single layer, making sure there is space between each slice for ultimate crispiness, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until crispy and slightly brown. (Be sure to watch the chips closely past the 15-minute mark as they can burn quickly.) Remove from the oven and set aside to cool while you prepare the other elements.
- To make the Chunky Zesty Shepard Avocado Salsa, mix all listed ingredients in a bowl and toss gently to combine.
- To make the creamy macadamia cheese, blitz all the ingredients in the food processor until smooth and creamy.
- When ready to serve, spread the beetroot chips out on a platter. Dollop over spoonfuls of the chunky zesty Shepard avocado salsa and macadamia cheese, scatter with the finely chopped tomato and sprinkle over with the chopped coriander to finish. Season well with salt and pepper and enjoy!