This is my take on the classic Australian breakfast dish, avocado smash. Drizzling balsamic syrup on avocado may seem strange, but the salty flavours of the prosciutto and the sweetness of the balsamic syrup really enhance it.
This café style breakfast can feed as many as you like, just adjust the quantities accordingly. All the elements can be prepared, then assembled all at once and served on a big platter. Top each one with a poached egg if you like.
You can buy balsamic syrup, but it’s easy to make yourself and last ages in the fridge. I have included the recipe here.
4 thick slices ciabatta, or other thick bread
4 slices prosciutto
1 ½ tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, minced
4 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
100 g fresh ricotta
3 tablespoons seeds (I have used nigella seeds)
3 tablespoons balsamic syrup (recipe below)
This recipe makes about 240 ml of syrup. Store it in the fridge in a sealed jar or container for up to one month. Use it to drizzle over a salad, chicken or fresh tomatoes. It's also surprisingly good over strawberries and ice-cream.
500 ml balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1. Drizzle the ciabatta with a little olive oil and grill or toast until golden.
2. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Lay the prosciutto onto a baking paper lined oven tray and cook for 10 minutes, or until crisp. Set aside.
3. Peel and de-seed the avocados and place in a bowl with the lemon juice, minced garlic and basil. Roughly smash with the back of a fork. Don’t mash it too smooth, you want texture. Season with salt and black pepper.
4. Spoon a quarter of the avocado mix onto each piece of toasted bread. Crumble a little ricotta over each and sprinkle with seeds. Drizzle with a little balsamic syrup and top with a slice of crispy prosciutto.
1. Combine the vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring every now and then, until mixture is thickened and syrupy.
Recipe from Food for Sharing Italian Style by Liliana Battle, available now from New Holland Publishers.