Avocado and Whipped Feta Toasts with Pomegranate Relish / by Chelsea Zwieg

My grandma has had an avocado tree at her condo in Florida that never actually did it's job of producing avocados. That is, until this year. The neighbors planted an avocado tree nearby and because of some cross-polination-sciencey-botany-please-don't-laugh-at-how-little-I-understand-it-reason, it inspired her avocado tree to make up for lost time and produce a literal boatload of avocados.

My aunt and uncle were visiting her and were wonderful enough to send twenty pounds of avocados my way. The feeling inspired by having twenty pounds of avocados is kind of like having a hundred dollar bill for the first time. You feel so powerful but then the pressure is on because it would be tragic to waste a hundred dollar bill on something stupid and it would be even more tragic to waste a giant box of avocados. Because I can guarantee it will be quite a while before someone offers to send me twenty pounds of fresh avocados again (and probably even longer till I have a hundred dollar bill, let's be real). 

The problem is, the one and only thought I have when faced with avocados is to make guacamole. Don't get me wrong, I love me some guacamole. But I love it in a Mexican restaurant, or on the beach, or at a summer bbq. It seems like kind of a misfit at this holiday appetizer time of year. So I finally strayed from guacamole.

I traded the tortilla chips for little toasts, mixed together a pomegranate, pistachio and shallot relish and mixed the avocado with creamy whipped feta. If you've never had whipped feta, try it now. All you do is toss feta and a little cream cheese into the food processor, let it run for 5 minutes and you have a creamy, light and fluffy cheese. 

And bonus: whipped feta is super easy but it sounds super fancy to your guests. Plus, it's impossible to shorten into some horrible abbreviation like 'guac'. Don't get me started. 

Avocado and Whipped Feta Toasts with Pomegranate Relish

| Ingredients

  • 6 oz. feta cheese
  • 2 oz. cream cheese, room temperature 
  • 1/2 medium avocado, diced
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds (about 1 small pomegranate) 
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup pistachios, chopped (I used salted because that is all I had. But if you can get your hands on unsalted, that would be even better) 
  • 1/2 tsp. lime juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 french baguette (or bread of your choice) 

| Instructions

  • Place feta in food processor. Pulse until cheese is very finely crumbled. Add cream cheese. Process on high for 4-5 minutes, stopping to scrape down the bowl once or twice. Add avocado and pulse until no chunks remain, about 30 seconds more.
  • In a bowl, mix together pomegranate seeds, shallot and pistachios. Add lime juice and 1 tsp. olive oil and stir until evenly coated. 
  • Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Slice baguette and brush each slice with olive oil. Place the slices, oiled side down, in the skillet. Allow the bread to toast, checking often. Once they begin to brown, brush the other side with oil and flip. When slices are crisp and light brown, remove from heat.
  • To assemble, spread the whipped feta onto toasts and top with a tsp. of pomegranate relish.