My first encounter with a baked avocado was at Kaz an Nou, a wonderful little French-West Indian restaurant in Brooklyn. I admit that I was reluctant at first; warm avocado just didn't register in my mind as something I'd enjoy. But I do love being proven wrong about these things! It was delicious and rich with emmenthal and mushrooms set off with a balsamic reduction. I go for salty feta and a little kick of sriracha. One half avocado is a fairly heavy, belly-filling starter for one; I recommend sharing the avocado halves or serving them with crackers as an hors d'oeuvre. Shallots are a good substitution for the green onion, and your favorite robust hot sauce can work in place of the sriracha. The avocados bake up well in the toaster oven if you don't feel like firing up the full-sized one. —vvvanessa
Test Kitchen Notes
This yummy-in-the-tummy dish definitely deserves a spot at your table. The rich avocado is nicely tempered by the salty feta and fresh green onions. The crispy croutons add a lovely textural dimension, and the tangy-spicy sauce adds a perfect zingy punch. Best of all it can be made in only 20 minutes. It's delicious as an hors d'oeuvre on crackers or crostini, an appetizer or warm salad course, as a side to some grilled chicken or fish, or even as a main course! —hardlikearmour
ripe but firm avocados (stickers removed if there are any)
feta cheese of choice, cut into small cubes (no bigger than 1/2")
very finely minced green onions (white and green parts)
Halve the avocados lengthwise and remove the pits. Reserve the skins. Scoop out the flesh and chop it into pieces about 1/2-1 inch big. Place them in a bowl and add the feta, onions, and a generous grind of black pepper. Stir gently to mix; it's fine if the mixture gets a little mushed together.
Set the avocado skins on a baking tray, open-side up. Evenly distribute the avocado-feta filling amongst the 4 shells; you'll need to pile the filling high. If you are having trouble keeping the avocados from tipping over, either prop them up against each other, or put a handful of raw rice on the tray and nest the avocado in it.
Bake them until they are warmed through, 12-15 minutes.
In the meantime, make the croutons. Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the breadcrumbs and a small pinch of salt. Stir constantly until the bread begins to brown, about 5 minutes. As soon as the bread reaches the desired color, remove it from the heat and reserve.
Mix the mayonnnaise, sriracha, and lemon juice and set aside.
When the avocados are done, place them on a serving plate. Top with the sauce and then the croutons. Serve immediately.