Dark- and green-skinned avos shine equally bright in the kitchen

No matter what you’re planning for your next meal, add an avo for double the deliciousness. Try this recipe for a scrumptious roasted veg and avocado pasta

20 April 2022 - 15:10
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Penne with balsamic roast veggies and avocado topped with flavoured sourdough breadcrumbs.
Image: South African Avocado Growers’ Association Penne with balsamic roast veggies and avocado topped with flavoured sourdough breadcrumbs.

Green- and dark-skinned avocados are available in SA almost all year round and the good news is, whichever colour you choose, they’re all equally delicious and nutritious.

The buttery, creamy green-skinned avo varieties Fuerte, Edranol, Ryan, Reed and Pinkerton are available from March until October, and the rich, nutty dark-skinned Hass, Maluma Hass and Lamb Hass from March until November.

Remember that green-skinned avos remain green when ripe, while the dark-skinned avos turn purple-black when ready to eat.

Even though avocados may vary in colour, shape and size, they are all a great source of nutrients and can be included as part of a healthy eating plan. Did you know that they’re high in energy, heart healthy fats, vitamin K and biotin? They’re also cholesterol- and sodium-free and are a source of fibre.

Green- and dark-skinned avocados are available in SA almost all year round.
Image: South African Avocado Growers’ Association Green- and dark-skinned avocados are available in SA almost all year round.

Avocados can form part of a successful energy-controlled diet for weight management as the healthy monounsaturated fats found in this fruit give a feeling of fullness, which reduces the temptation to overeat or binge on less healthy foods.

When it comes to getting creative in the kitchen, dark-skinned and green-skinned avos shine equally brightly, as there’s no end to their uses in snacks, light meals, starters, main meals, desserts, bakes and even sweet treats.

If you’re yet to experience the versatility of avocados, try the recipe for penne with balsamic roast veggies and avocado below — you’ll be hooked.

So, no matter what you’re planning for your next meal, add an avo — green-skinned or dark-skinned — for double the deliciousness.

Penne with balsamic roast veggies and avocado

Rather than Parmesan, this scrumptious pasta dish is topped with flavoured sourdough breadcrumbs for added texture.

Serves: 4 — 6

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

Avocado or olive oil

600g mixed vegetables, such as peppers, baby marrow, aubergine and red onion

2 garlic cloves, crushed

30ml (2 tbsp) mixed dried herbs or Italian herb seasoning 

Salt and pepper, to taste

30-45ml (2-3 tbsp) Balsamic vinegar

15ml (1 tbsp) brown sugar 

500g penne pasta 

2 ripe avocados

Flat leaf parsley, to garnish 

For the flavoured breadcrumbs:

100g stale sourdough bread, cubed

45ml (3 tbsp) avocado or olive oil

2 anchovy fillets, finely chopped (optional)

2 cloves garlic, crushed

Pinch of chilli flakes (optional)

Zest of 1 lemon

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C.
  2. Add a drizzle of the oil to a large oven dish and add the vegetables with the garlic and herbs. Season to taste and toss well. Drizzle over the Balsamic vinegar and brown sugar.
  3. Roast in the oven until golden and slightly charred, about 20-25 minutes.
  4. While the vegetables are roasting, boil the pasta in salted water according to instructions on the packet. 
  5. For the flavoured breadcrumbs, whizz the bread in a food processor to make rough crumbs. In a non-stick pan, heat the oil and add the anchovy (if using), breadcrumbs, garlic and chilli (optional) and gently fry until the crumbs are golden brown and toasted, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the lemon zest.
  6. To serve, peel, stone and dice the avocados. Toss the drained pasta with the roasted veggies and avocado. Arrange on a platter and sprinkle over the toasted crumbs and garnish with fresh parsley.

For more information and avo recipes, visit Avocado.co.za, like iloveavocadoSA on Facebook and follow @iloveavosSA on Instagram.

This article was paid for by the SA Avocado Growers’ Association.


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