It’s been one hot, gorgeous summer and the homegrown harvests have been nothing short of raaadicchio. See what I did there? I know, total pork (pun dork).
A free spirit and entrepreneur at heart, my 11-year old neighbor, Lily, has been working odd jobs for family-friends in exchange for fresh grown produce. When she showed up at my door a couple weeks ago with a head of radicchio, I knew exactly how to incorporate this beautifully bitter leafy green into a dish made for this hot-as-all-hell summer: chilled avocado mint soup with roasted radicchio. Queue drooling.
This recipe combines a few of my favorite things: silky avocados, tapas-style (and healthy) eating, and a dish with a hot/cold balance. This appetizer recipe came to fruition when I was fruit fasting for the first time two years back. It was only once and only three days long, but oh, do I remember it well! I’ve never seen the whites of my eyes brighter. Anywho, instead of eating whole fruits and veggies the entire time, what else could I do to pump up the culinary jam?
This. This is how I pumped up the jam. And now it’s an entertaining staple.
If you’re anything like me, I like to wear fancy pants whenever possible. I love to entertain and share new, exciting culinary tastings with my guests (most especially opening doors for finicky family members with curbed palates). This avocado dish is sight for sore eyes color-wise and takes about 10 to 15 minutes to make. A win-win for any culinary adventurer!
Garnished with homegrown mint and a smidgen of warm, purple-y greens, it’s hard to resist slurping bowl after bowl (admittedly I did). Plus, those finicky ones reach in a little quicker when they can first eat with their eyes. That’s the greatest reward.
Chilled Avocado & Mint Soup with Roasted Radicchio
Makes eight appetizer portions
1 large cucumber
15-20 mint leaves
½ small jalapeno
1 medium shallot
1.5 limes, juiced
¾ cup spring water
1 small radicchio
Salt & pepper
Cast iron pan
In a food processor, combine avocado flesh, cucumber (skin on), 10-15 mint leaves (reserve the rest for garnish), jalapeno, shallot, lime juice, and spring water. Blend until smooth. Add salt to taste.
Tip: why do I leave my cucumber skin on? It’s the most nutritious part of the fruit and adds pretty, darn green speckles to the soup. It’s also my favorite veggie. I love every bit of it.
Chill for one hour in the fridge. In a dinner party mad dash? 30 minutes in the freezer will do just fine, too.
Once chilled, drizzle EVOO, salt and pepper on both sides of the radicchio. On high heat, roast radicchio in a cast iron skillet until brown or charred. Remove from heat and chop charred bits into fine pieces.
Roll up remaining mint and chiffonade into fine ribbons. Garnish chilled soup with charred radicchio and mint. Serve instantly!
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