Thursday, April 25, 2013

Avocado Crostini with Reduced Balsamic and Hickory Smoked Sea Salt | Friday Night Bites

I have said it before and it is worth repeating – sometimes the simplest things in life are the best.  For me, I love putting together recipes with great ingredients that have great flavor profiles yet there are not a billion components.  Quite often folks think that I make these elaborate dishes that take forever, but that is the exception versus the rule. 

One of my favorite simple appetizers is an Avocado Crostini with Reduced Balsamic with a sprinkle of Smoked Hickory Sea Salt. It is crunchy, creamy, salty, and sweet with a touch of smoke.  Quite honestly, it is two to three bites of heaven.  The recipe is fairly loose, so you can make as few or as many as you would like.

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My current obsession is with smoked salts.  Several months ago, I visited Oxbow Public Market in Napa.  Within the vast array of specialty shops, the Whole Spice Company caught my eye.  It was filled with a large selection of unique spices, salts, sugars, and custom blends of spices.  The salts were fascinating, intriguing and unique.  You could buy fennel salt, lemon thyme sea salt, truffle salt, grey salt, pink salt and applewood smoked salt.  I picked up some of the applewood smoked salt which I contemplated using on these crostinis.  At the end, I felt the hickory smoked sea salt was harmonious with the other ingredients.

Recently Williams Sonoma has come out with an expansive selection of salts, spices and herbs.  From the everyday faire to extremely unique varieties, the selection was impressive.  I purchased the Hickory Smoked Sea Salt.

These delightful crostinis would pair very well with a crisp white wine such as a Sauvignon Blanc or a rich smoky Cabernet Sauvignon filled with subtle fruit.  Or you could swing the pendulum the other way and break out a dry sparkling wine or champagne.

Avocado Crostini with Reduced Balsamic and Hickory Smoked Sea Salt

Makes 16

1 Sour Dough Baguette, 16 ½ inch slices
Olive Oil
Garlic Powder
2 Avocados, ripe
½ Cup Balsamic Vinegar
Hickory Smoked Sea Salt

Brush each side of the sliced baguette with olive oil and then lightly sprinkle with the garlic powder on each side.  Add to a cookie sheet and bake at 350 until lightly browned on each side.  About 5 to 7 minutes.  Turn over at the midway point to ensure even browning.  Remove and let cool.

To reduce the balsamic, add to a small skillet over medium to medium high heat and let reduce.  Should resemble the consistency of syrup.  Watch carefully not to burn or over heat. 

To prepare the avocado, cut lengthwise in half.  With your knife gently tap the pit to remove with the knife and disregard.  Using your knife gently loosen the flesh of the avocado from the skin by running your knife close to the skin to remove.  Lay flat on a cutting board and cut in half lengthwise, then slice.

To assemble, lay 4 to 5 slices of avocado on each Crostini.  Drizzle about a half teaspoon of the reduced balsamic over each toast and then sprinkle with the hickory smoked sea salt. 


  1. I love smoked salts, it adds such a nice flavor to any dish! These crostini's look wonderful, great job :)

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

  2. What a great and simple idea!!! Thanks for sharing!!

  3. What a fab crostini, I love the reduced balsamic!

  4. Perfect little appetizers, love avocado and with the balsamic sauce and smoked salt it really sounds delish!

  5. What great flavors for a quick and easy appetizer. I love avocados, so I would be all over this one!

  6. Oh yum, Lisa! Thanks for recommending a type of wine with these and also for mentioning the smoked salts. I have been wanting to try the ones from WS, so I'm glad you liked them! Happy Friday & weekend!

  7. I need some Hickory salt, I've been to that beautiful market only once, I really need to go back. This sounds like a great Friday Night Bite or it would be an excellent party starter. I hope you have a great weekend. I'm hoping it's nice and warm like it has been.

  8. I think reduced balsamic makes everything so much better. Love it on these crostini. You're encouraging me to expand my salt horizons. I have a few varieties at home but I think I should pick up a few more. :)

  9. Thanks for the tip on trying Hickory smoked salt..can't wait to pick some up to try on my avocado crostini! Seriously Lisa-I could make a meal of this wonderful appetizer;-) Have a great weekend!

  10. I couldn't agree more! The simple things including food are almost always the best. This is a wonderful blend of flavors.

  11. I couldn't agree with you more. Don't you love how delicious a perfectly ripe avocado is? I'm confident that this would be a bite of heaven. Thank you for sharing, Lisa!

  12. Lisa, I think you're the crostini queen! I can't decide which recipe I love the most...maybe it's this one. That hickory salt and avocado are too enticing!

  13. woah this looks amazing and perfect for any Friday night!

  14. I didn't used to, but now I am a huge avocado fan! Not only are avocados good for you...but they are delicious, savoury or sweet! (I do prefer them savoury, though). And my fave way to eat avocados? ON a crostini or bread...! This is perfect!

  15. I love avocados in smoothies but haven't really tried them elsewhere. Or well, I've baked with them but that's it.

    This looks really great! I'll remember it for when I have too many avocados all ripening at the same time. :)


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