This recipe is what lazy weekend brunches should be made of – an Italian twist on a classic Australian breakfast dish, Avocado Smash.
Drizzling balsamic syrup on avocado may seem strange, but the salty flavours of the prosciutto and the sweetness of the balsamic syrup really enhance it. You can buy balsamic syrup, but it’s easy to make yourself and it lasts ages in the fridge (we’ve included the recipe below).
This cafe-style breakfast can feed as many as you like, just adjust the quantities accordingly. All the elements can be prepared, then assembled all at once and served on a big platter. Top each one with a poached egg if you like.
The recipe serves four.
Avocado smash Italian style
- 4 thick slices ciabatta, or other thick bread
- 4 slices prosciutto olive oil
- 3 avocados
- 1 1⁄2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 4 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 100gm (3.5 oz) fresh ricotta
- 3 tbsp seeds (nigella seeds work well)
- 3 tbsp balsamic syrup (recipe follows)
- 500 ml (18 fl oz) balsamic vinegar
- 4 tbsp brown sugar
- Drizzle the ciabatta with a little olive oil and grill or toast until golden.
- Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Lay the prosciutto onto a baking paper lined oven tray and cook for 10 minutes, or until crisp. Set aside.
- Peel and de-seed the avocados and place in a bowl with the lemon juice, minced garlic and basil. Roughly smash with the back of a fork. Don’t mash it too smooth, you want texture. Season with salt and black pepper.
- Spoon a quarter of the avocado mix onto each piece of toasted bread. Crumble a little ricotta over each and sprinkle with seeds. Drizzle with a little balsamic syrup and top with a slice of crispy prosciutto.
- Combine the vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring every now and then, until mixture is thickened and syrupy.
- This recipe makes about 240 ml (8 fl oz) of syrup. Store chilled in a sealed jar for up to one month.
The balsamic syrup keeps for a couple of weeks. Store it in a sealed container in the fridge. Use it to drizzle over a salad, chicken or fresh tomatoes. Also surprisingly good over strawberries and ice-cream.
Much love to Liliana Battle of MasterChef fame for letting us share this recipe from her new book Food for Sharing Italian Style, New Holland Publishers RRP $45.00 available from all good bookstores or online at newhollandpublishers.com
Liliana grew up in a Southern Italian family where food was generally made by hand, grown from the land, and shared with others.
Food for Sharing Italian Style showcases recipes from Liliana and includes traditional and modern-day interpretations of Italian dishes. From pasta, meat, fish, vegetables, breakfasts, antipasti, pizzas, pies and tarts and show-stopping desserts, all of the recipes can be mixed and matched to make a fabulous Italian feast.