I am conflicted writing a cooking blog when what’s on my mind is how women are treated in the workplace, and writing from the kitchen seems regressive. But I suppose it’s something that brings me joy, and I find cathartic. Especially if you have Beyonce and Jay on blast.
“What’s the difference between them? What do they do?” “Are you guys sisters?” “Let me tell you how to do [my job]”.
These are a sampling of comments about me (and my boss, who happens to be female and blonde), both said to my face, and just out of earshot, from male colleagues. To the gentleman who asked if we were sisters – “are you brothers with all the other 30/40-something blue-jacket clad men in the room?” Ridiculous. No one would ask that. Ever.
What do we do? Well, we are here talking to you about a potential M&A deal – WTF team do you think we are on? I’ve known you for two years. It seems that explaining the difference between two women will be lost on you if you can’t think yourself out of the bag of “what do we do”.
Oh, you are a part of treasury, and you feel the need to educate me on the due diligence process. Yes, please, YOU tell me how to do my job. Get back in your swim lane, fucker.
Perhaps you are tired of reading the above, and I am too – but it’s part of my day to day job. And I get tired of it, and it gets me down. So this is where Ottolenghi and avocados come into play. They are my salvation, my chance to reflect, re-charge and grow stronger.
Yotam Ottolenghi is a genius. For those of you un-acquainted, he’s an Israeli-born chef who operates a few (four) amazing restaurants in the UK and a couple amazing cookbooks (Jerusalem, Plenty, Plenty More, others). His recipes can seem intimidating – a lot of herbs and spices that make you feel like you are buying all the herbs in the world when trying one of his recipes. But 1. it’s worth it, and 2. once you have them, you’re set.
Ottolenghi also publishes an article in The Guardian, which is how I found today’s delightful recipe.
Avocado butter on toast with tomato salsa
Ha. So this was amazing, and has helped me find the energy to conquer the world again (Beyonce and Jay-Z had a part, too). This was super easy.
I had some changes, some which you may want to incorporate, or you can follow the recipe to a tee (try to be adventurous).
- I couldn’t find dill at Whole Foods (can’t wait until I can Amazon Prime the shit out of my organic groceries) so I left if out.
- I added salt (not too much, b/c later we top with delicious capers!), pepper and chili flakes to the avocado butter – you won’t be sorry.
- Skipped the olive oil – there was plenty of fat from the butter and avocado
- I forgot to top with cumin seeds (ok, was going to use cumin powder b/c I am a very busy lady and didn’t want to deal with toasting my own) and it was still delicious.
- I rubbed BOTH sides of the toast with garlic. DUH.
As you can see – mine doesn’t look like the Internet’s, but I can’t be good at everything (the watch I’m wearing, I bought it).
The butter needs to be very soft, so it blends properly with the avocado. Don’t melt it, though, because that will cause it to separate; instead, leave it at room temperature for a few hours. Serves two generously, or four as a snack.
2-3 very ripe avocados, flesh scooped out (you need about 250g in total)
80g unsalted butter, softened and cut into 2cm cubes
3 limes – finely grate the zest, then juice, to get 1½ tbsp of each
Salt and black pepper
10g tarragon leaves, finely chopped
10g dill, finely chopped
200g cherry tomatoes, cut into halves or quarters
2 tsp capers, rinsed and finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to serve
4 slices sourdough bread
½ small garlic clove, peeled
¼ tsp cumin seeds, toasted and crushed
Put the avocado and butter in the small bowl of a food processor with half the lime zest, half the lime juice and half a teaspoon of salt (or use a stick blender). Blitz smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl if need be, then transfer to a small bowl with two-thirds of the herbs. Fold in, then refrigerate for 10 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix the tomatoes, capers, remaining lime zest and juice, oil and a good grind of pepper, and set aside until needed.
Grill or toast the bread, then rub one side of each piece with the cut side of the half garlic clove. Leave the toast to cool down a little, then spread each slice with the avocado butter and top with salsa. Sprinkle on the cumin and remaining herbs, add a final grind of pepper and a drizzle of oil, and serve.
On to the next one, someone bring me back the money please.