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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — In this week’s Cooking Corner, Market District Chef Ben D’Amico is cooking with avocado. For good taste and great health benefits, you can’t beat this mighty green fruit!

Avocado & Chickpea Mash
Compliments of Market District Chef Benjamin D’Amico
Makes: 2 lbs
Prep Time: 20 min.

Ingredients:

  • 3 each Avocados
  • 1-14 oz can Chickpeas, drained
  • 2 each Green Onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp Pepitas, roasted & salted, crushed into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp Cilantro, fresh, minced
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • ½ tsp Black Pepper, course ground
  • 1 ½ tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions:

1. Place the drained chickpeas into a plastic food storage bag. Close the bag and smash the beans until they are a course grind.
2. In a small mixing bowl combine the rest of the ingredients except the avocado.
3. Use a fork or spatula to press the ingredients into each other.
4. Finally add in the avocado & mash with the fork/spatula. (it is best to cut the avocado into small pieces to ease the process)
5. Taste and season with additional salt or lemon juice if desired.
6. Store the mash into a airtight food storage bag until ready to use.
NOTE: Makes a great dip for vegetables & chips. Also wonderful on toast!

 

Avocado & Chickpea Mash Salad Sandwiches
Compliments of Market District Chef Benjamin D’Amico
Makes: 2 Sandwiches
Prep Time: 5 min.

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices Hearty Multigrain Bread, ½ inch sliced
  • ½ cup Avocado & Chickpea mash
  • 8-10 slices Cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup Baby Arugula

Directions:

1. Lay the bread on a cutting board.
2. Spread ¼ cup of the avocado & chickpea mash on two slices of bread.
3. Take the sliced cucumber & baby spinach & place onto the mash..
4. Top with the other slice of bread.
5. Cut in half and serve.

 

Avocado Toast (4 ways)
Compliments of Market District Chef Benjamin D’Amico
Makes: 4 slices of each
Prep Time: 20 min.

“English Style”

  • 4 slices Hearty Multigrain Bread, ½ inch sliced
  • 2 each Avocado, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup Cream Cheese & Goat Cheese (2 parts cream cheese : 1 part goat cheese)
  • Pinch Kosher Salt
  • Sprinkle Black Pepper, course ground

“Olive & Radish”

  • 4 slices Hearty Multigrain Bread, ½ inch sliced
  • 2 each Avocado, smashed
  • 4 each Radish, very thinly sliced
  • 8 each Kalamata Olives, halved
  • Pinch Kosher Salt
  • Sprinkle Black Pepper, course ground

“Pomegranate & Feta”

  • 4 slices Hearty Multigrain Bread, ½ inch sliced
  • 2 each Avocado, smashed
  • 2 tbsp Pomegranate Arils
  • 2 tbsp Feta Cheese, crumbed
  • Pinch Kosher Salt

“Cucumber & Spice”

  • 4 slices Hearty Multigrain Bread, ½ inch sliced
  • 2 each Avocado, smashed
  • 8-10 slices Cucumber, very thin long slices
  • Pinch Kosher Salt
  • Sprinkle Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • Drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions:

1. Toast the bread – grill, oven, or toaster.
2. Lay the bread on a cutting board.
3. Spread the avocado or any cheese spread onto the bread first.
4. Take the vegetables & any garnishes and evenly top the avocado.
5. Season with salt &/or black pepper if desired.

 

Avocado & Baby Spinach Grilled Cheese
Compliments of Market District Chef Benjamin D’Amico
Makes: 2 Sandwiches
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 5 min.

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices Hearty Multigrain Bread, ¼ -½ inch sliced
  • 1 tbsp Butter, softened or Margarine
  • 1 each Avocado, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups Baby Spinach, wilted & chilled
  • ¼ cup Jarlsberg Spread (Found in the Deli)
  • 4 slices Provolone Cheese
  • 2 slices Muenster Cheese
  • 2 slices Havarti Cheese
  • TT Kosher Salt & Black Pepper

Directions:

1. Butter one side of each of the pieces of bread.
2. Spread the Jarlsberg spread onto each piece of bread.
3. Place half of the slices of cheese onto each piece of bread.
4. Evenly place the wilted spinach on top of the cheese.
5. Place the avocado on top of the spinach, close the sandwich.
6. Gently preheat a sauté pan on medium heat.
7. Cook the sandwich on each side under medium heat for about 2-3 minutes or each side. (until bread is browned and crispy and not burnt).
8. Cut in half and serve.