I’m already hunting new recipes for our Christmas Eve buffet. My searching reminded me I needed to post a neat appetizer I made and photographed last year. I wanted to incorporate an avocado appetizer and didn’t want it to be very labor intensive. With all of the other Christmas baking and cooking I didn’t need another dish to add to my schedule.
This appetizer would be a quick fix with simple, fresh flavors. Using avocado in a finger food usually means making it into a dip. One step better is spreading the dip onto small pieces of toast such as a crostini. Using a small loaf of French bread, a baguette, slicing and toasting it was a snap.
I’d purchased the avocados 5 or 6 days earlier, so that they could ripen on the counter. As they became less firm I refrigerated each one. They last many days longer when refrigerated. Until I learned that trick I had avocados ripening at different times and it made me crazy trying to get 3 or 4 ripe at the same time for guacamole.
Next I halved and scooped out the avocados into a bowl. I added fresh lime juice, some lime zest, garlic powder, chili powder and a pinch of cayenne. I didn’t want it to be too guac-y so I didn’t use cumin. The fresh avocado and lime flavors would be the stars.
I finely diced a couple of Roma tomatoes for the tops and refrigerated my toppings until the last minute. I even toasted sliced the French bread and stored it in a zippered bag so it was ready to toast.
As I set up the holiday buffets my kids are good about pitching in. Son Justin and daughter Emily assembled a few of the last minute apps, including the avocado crostini. We spread the avocado mixture onto the crostini, topped it with diced tomato and arranged them in a circle on a glass plate. Adding a bowl of black olives to the center (we’re all black olive addicts), our crostini looked like a wreath. Totally unplanned but it was adorable!
It was also a delicious, light tasting app on a buffet that is usually sagging with heavier flavors. You definitely MUST come hungry to our house on Christmas Eve! As usual I have the kids cleaning up and storing away the leftovers. They put the leftover crostini in a container and refrigerated them. The next day when I was trolling the fridge for a snack they were a soggy mess and I tossed them out.
The crostini were great tasting the first day but are not good leftover. It would be best to spread just enough crostini at a time and to replenish the plate if necessary, then store leftovers separately.
Avocado Crostini Wreath
4 ripe avocados (buy ahead of time to ripen)
Zest of one lime
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, or more if you want to use all of the juice from the one lime
1 teaspoon diced garlic or ½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon chili powder
Large pinch cayenne
2-3 Roma tomatoes, depending on their size
1 thin loaf French baguette
Can of black olives (if you’re making a wreath. Cherry or grape tomatoes are also festive)
Halve and scoop out avocados into a bowl. Mash with lime zest, juice, garlic, chili powder and cayenne. Stir well and refrigerate until serving.
Finely dice Romas and place in a container. Refrigerate until serving.
Slice baguette into thin slices and place in plastic zippered bag until serving.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place baguette slices in a single layer on a large baking sheet and place in oven. Bake until crispy and browned on both sides, turning once.
Spread avocado mixture on baguette slices and sprinkle with diced tomatoes. Arrange on plate in a circle and place a small bowl of black olives in the center,
Leftover crostini will be soggy. Plan ahead and only spread avocado as needed.