avocado and almond salad

A very weird thing happened yesterday. I was just plodding along minding my own business in Twitterverse when someone asked me for my opinion on something (read: Snog Soho) and I told them how I felt (read: I wouldn’t go there) and to my utter surprise, she didn’t go! Because of what I said! I was a little bit, what the hell someone actually listened to me, but not just like oh hey ok thanks bugger off, but she valued my opinion and changed her plans because of me.


… Doesn’t she know that I know the total sum of nothing about anything?

Anyway, whatever, there was a glitch in the universe. All should be well again and really, don’t take my advice for anything.

Moving along. [All of the above has nothing to do with this post. Sorry!]

Last night, I had some friends over for dinner, namely Campbell, my friend Mel’s boyfriend, a big, gruff, rough 100% bona-fide alpha male. Cam’s here from Sydney for a business thang and I had him, Mel’s brother Brendon and Brendon’s better half Christine over for a feed. Cosy, all we needed was… Mel.

I’ve known Mel & Cam forever and we’re so like this that we’re practically family. Back in the day when I was single and living in Newtown in Sydney’s inner west, I spent hours hanging out at their place, just bumming around, cooking stuff and doing the odd spot of cleaning. Cam thought he’d struck gold with two little Chinese wives. Instead, we gave him double the nagging. Y-eah.

It was great to see Cam, but seeing him made me miss Mel so much. That girl and I, she was my partner in [food] crime. Just thinking about her makes me smile, and I miss the good times when we would:

  • drink tea and eat TimTams while painting our nails,
  • stroll down King Street in our pyjamas (because in Newtown you just can) to go get gelato,
  • run (we actually seriously ran) down George Street to get the last creme brulee at Le Renaissance,
  • make cup cakes until the wee hours,
  • eat at Mamak as often as possible, like two hours before my flight left for London,
  • go grocery shopping and spend hours nibbling on samples in Harris Farms,
  • gossip over a giant Citrus chai latte…
  • and share a slice of heavily buttered banana bread at Urban Bites.

Oh and my favourite memory, this one takes more than a bullet point. So we’re going to Le Renaissance for creme brulee (Sydney peeps, you need search no more, there’s no better creme brulee, I shit you not) and Cam’s meeting us there. I was supposed to have my own *oink*, and Mel was going to share with Cam. We got there before him and came up with the most fucking brilliant idea of the millenia. We ordered two creme brulees. We ate them. And when Cam arrived we ordered again, and no one, no one but us knew our little secret. *muahahahaha* *burp*

Sighhhh. I miss you Mel!



Ok, all right. Anyway is this a food blog or what? Dinner party. Right.

Being a weeknight, I didn’t have much time to create a feast extravaganza so I did it the easy way with some oldies but goodies:

Starter: Uhhh I actually totally didn’t even think about this… oops. Crisps, anyone?

Main: Penne arrabiata with spicy chorizo and sundried tomato, first seen here.

penne arrabiata with spicy chorizo and sundried tomato

Salads: Good ol’ garden variety (with my new best friend, Mr Beetroot) and a newbie! Avocado and spring onion salad with toasted almonds, a variation of a Jamie Oliver recipe.

garden salad; avocado and spring onion salad

Dessert: Another oldie, choc mint cheesecake…

choc mint cheesecake

It was a damn good night. Remind me, why do we work on Fridays? 

Avocado and spring onion salad with toasted almonds
3-4 large avocados, peeled and chopped into cubes
4-5 spriggs of spring onion, finely sliced
Whole blanched almonds or almond flakes
1teaspoon olive oil
2 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon mustard
Dried red chilli
Salt and pepper
  1. Throw a couple of good handfuls of whole blanched almonds or almond flakes into a non-stick pan with a little olive oil and toast until lightly golden in the oven, grill or over the gas.
  2. Season with salt, pepper and a little dried red chilli and put to one side.
  3. Place avocado cubes in a bowl, sprinkle over finely sliced spring onions .
  4. Then sprinkle over the almonds, drizzle with plenty of thick honey mustard dressing and season with salt and pepper.
Shared dish.
Penne arrabiata with spicy chorizo and sundried tomato
140grams spicy chorizo, chopped in strips
200grams penne pasta
1/2 medium onion diced finely or processed
2 cloves garlic chopped (big pieces)
5 pieces of sundried tomato, chopped
2 Tablespoons tomato puree or tomato paste
Dried red chilli flakes
1/3 cup water
1teaspoon olive oil
  1. Heat olive oil in small saucepan and add onions and garlic.
  2. When the onions and garlic start to brown, add the chorizo and sundried tomato and keep stirring on low heat.
  3. In the mean time, bring a pot of water to boil and add penne pasta. Keep stirring.
  4. When the chorizo, onions, garlic and sundried tomatoes look well mixed, add the tomato puree. Stir and add water.
  5. If the sauce looks too dry add more water however keep in mind that arrabiata is not meant to be a ‘saucy’ dish. Just enough to coat the pasta.
  6. Add chilli flakes to taste – this dish is meant to be spicy!
  7. When the pasta is ready, drain and return the pasta to the pot. Add sauce and mix well in pot before serving.
Serves 2.
Choc mint cheesecake
200gram chocolate biscuit (my choice: chocolate digestives)
50gram butter, melted
200gram cream cheese
200gram mascarpone cheese
50gram caster sugar
1Tablespoon creme de menthe or peppermint extract
2 drop green food colouring (optional)
50gram plain dark chocolate chips
  1. Crush the biscuit with a wooden spoon or food processor to make fine crumbs. Or get down and dirty like me and use you hands. Wash them first!
  2. Mix with melted butter and press gentle over the base od a 20cm (8 inch) round, spring form cake tin. Place in the freezer to set while making the cream cheese mixture.
  3. Beat together the cream cheese, mascarpone, sugar, mint liquer/extract and food colouring (optional) in a large bowl.
  4. Stir in 40gram of the chocolate chips and spoon the mixture over the biscuit base, smoothing with the back of a spoon.
  5. Place in refrigerator and chill for an hour.
  6. If set in cake tin, loosen the edge with a knife, then remove the cheesecake from the tin carefully. Scatter over the remaining choc chips, roughly chopped.
Serves 4-6.

6 Thoughts on “old friends and new salads: avocado & spring onion salad with toasted almonds

  1. Knowing that someone took your advice – awesome! Actually, it would be make me so nervous; I’d feel personally responsible if they decided it was a terrible idea. 😎 Great menu and great memories! I hope you and Mel get together sometime soon (so that Cam can get his “Two Chinese Wives” fantasy on!)

  2. chooken on September 6, 2009 at 2:36 pm said:

    I actually didnt know Cam’s name was Campbell…wierd.

  3. My favorite kind of Salad is none other Potato Salad. it really taste yummy.”~:

  4. whenever my sister makes potato salad, i always eat them in less than a minute or so he he. i just love all sorts of salad. .,-

  5. i like potato salad and also mixed fruit salads. they are tasty and so yummy`~-

  6. I just wanted to say… I happen to have chanced upon your site quite by accident, and yet your posts are so entertaining and informative that despite my admitted failure to qualify as an avid ‘foodie’, I spent an inordinate amount of time reading them. You write remarkably well… .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post Navigation