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avocado tartare with roasted beets, basil + dukkah

avocado tartare with roasted beets, basil + dukkah // the first messavocado tartare with roasted beets, basil + dukkah // the first messavocado tartare with roasted beets, basil + dukkah // the first mess
The last week or so has been a sent-from-the-universe-and-thank-goodness reminder that everyone’s fighting a tough battle if you listen or look hard enough–or even if you just listen and look on a basic level of human awareness. I’ve been pulling back on the online life a bit as a call to action/but also possibly just as a natural reaction to it all. Ever try that?  Just kind of having a passive involvement in the goings on of the internet, or not even offering recognition to an actual, separate “online life” as it were? Maybe you already have a hunch, but it’s been good. A mindful retreat to the physical world makes for a reinforced sense of warmth and closeness ’round here. A reader reminded me recently that gardeners, like serious whisperers-to-the-earth-level gardeners, are optimists by their very nature. I think she’s on to something there.

So I’ve been doing more in a general way, but also cooking more. Grain salads for healthy nibbling, seedy waffles with tons of berries, and greens all day every day. When life comes in with its highs and lows, taking control of your health is the easiest way to claw your way back to equilibrium I find–provided you’re lucky enough to have access to the basic tools. Setting aside time for the benefit of your own wellbeing is a worthy undertaking in self-love + the love of your peeps, whatever the circumstances. Things to make you think and go inward. Things to make you love it all out.

We’ve got a big thing of avocados and they’re all ripening at the same time. Obviously there’s tartines/toast and guacamole, but also? I’m kind of tired of both of those things. I know full well that nobody’s been dying for a plant-y version of tartare, but the concept seems so right with avocado. Punchy capers, dijon, red onion and a tiny splash of salty tamari all jumbled in with small dices of creamy-fatty avocado on a warm-spiced beet slice and a crunchy bread/cracker vehicle? COME. ON. It’s classy enough for guests, but easy enough for snacking on while you watch the finals in ridiculous anticipation. All in one bite there’s salt, tang, sweetness, roast-y qualities, and those light nudges of umami too. It’s definitely one of the better things I’ve made recently, and I’m gonna chalk that tiny victory up to a realignment with all the brilliance of the offline world :)

avocado tartare with roasted beets, basil + dukkah // the first messavocado tartare with roasted beets, basil + dukkah // the first messavocado tartare with roasted beets, basil + dukkah // the first mess
avocado tartare with roasted beets, basil + dukkah
serves: makes almost 2 cups-worth of tartare
notes: You want the avocado to be ripe, but not so ripe that it’s soft and mushy. A little firm-ness is key for this one to distinguish itself from guacamole ;)

roasted beets:
3 medium beets, scrubbed
juice of 1 lime, divided
extra virgin olive oil
1-2 tsp dukkah spice (here’s a link to make your own!)

avocado tartare ingredients:
1 small red onion, small dice
2 tbsp capers, minced
3 sprigs of basil, chopped
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp sherry vinegar
small splash of tamari soy sauce
salt + pepper
1 medium, just-ripe avocado

etc.
crackers/crostini
flat parsley leaves for serving (optional)
extra diced red onion

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside. Wrap each of the beets in foil and place them on the sheet. Roast for about 40 minutes or until a knife can be inserted into the beets with minimal resistance. Remove the sheet from the oven, open up the foil on the beets a bit and allow them to cool. You can peel the beets at this point if you like.

Once the beets have cooled enough, slice them up and toss them with half the lime juice, some olive oil, salt, pepper and dukkah. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the diced red onion, capers, basil, mustard, sherry vinegar, tamari, salt, pepper and a big splash of extra virgin olive oil. Cut the avocado down the middle and remove the pit. Carefully peel the exterior, trying to preserve the integrity of the flesh. Dice it up somewhat small and toss it into the bowl with the capers, mustard, sherry vinegar etc. Squeeze in the rest of the lime juice. Toss everything to combine, check for seasoning, and adjust accordingly.

Serve the avocado tartare with the beets, crackers/crostini, parsley leaves, and diced onion.

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Katie @ Whole Nourishment01/05/2014 - 5:06 am

Oh my goodness, I love this tartare recipe, especially the combination of capers, dijon, and sherry and the pairing with roasted beets. It’s refreshing to hear others sensing the weight of the internet world. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

The Circus Gardener01/05/2014 - 5:09 am

This looks delightful. Some great ingredients and flavour combinations.

Averie @ Averie Cooks01/05/2014 - 5:35 am

I love beets and I love avocado and this looks like a great dish – pinned!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar01/05/2014 - 8:36 am

This is absolutely stunning!! LOVE!

lynsey @ lynseylovesfood01/05/2014 - 8:57 am

I have been having my own battle with a huge bag of avocados and a waning creativity on what do with them as the weeks stretches on. This is perfect! Thanks Laura, xo

Kathryn01/05/2014 - 9:07 am

I think there’s something about the earthiness of this time of year that encourages a retreat back into the physical world isn’t there? The need to be outside and breathing in the fresh air and feeling for the signs of new life. All things you miss when you’re stuck staring at your computer/phone all day.

Ashley01/05/2014 - 9:26 am

All I have to say is, yesssss. To all of it. Per usual. Words, food, photos. Now let’s hang out again, mmmk? (p.s. THOSE WAFFLES. and YOUR KITCHEN. squeal.)

Amy @ Parsley In My Teeth01/05/2014 - 9:35 am

I think a vegetable version of tartare is a brilliant idea. Looks gorgeous!

mimi01/05/2014 - 9:40 am

This meal is perfection! What a perfect way to use fresh avocadoes!

Lane | Green Spirit Adventures01/05/2014 - 10:20 am

This looks absolutely delicious! And your words warm my heart. :) Perfection.

Ileana01/05/2014 - 11:11 am

I can definitely get behind avocado tartare!

You had me at avocado. This looks delicious! :)

The Naked Fig01/05/2014 - 12:31 pm

How do you always know my favorite flavors?

Sini | my blue&white kitchen01/05/2014 - 12:53 pm

Give me all the avocados! Going to have some me-time and a bowl of this green goodness.

Skye01/05/2014 - 1:05 pm

Those roasted beets look sublime. I’m intrigued that you serve them with a squeeze of lime juice – I would never have though to do that, but I bet it gives them really lovely, summery kick.

Rosie01/05/2014 - 2:07 pm

This is so awesome and original, I’m on a real beets kick at the moment so this fits nicely!

Katie @ Produce on Parade01/05/2014 - 7:43 pm

What?! This is insanely genius…

Emma Galloway01/05/2014 - 11:11 pm

Oh gawd, a break from online life is excatly what I need right now! It sucks the life outa ya right? Loving this post, recipe and the knowledge of knowing I get to hang with your lovely self REAL soon! Yay! xx

Lindsey02/05/2014 - 8:23 am

I am WITH you on the whole un-plugging thing. it all feels like too much over-stimulation at times. but hooray for gardening being a mild form of meditation/therapy! and major avocado-love for this one, laura! looks spot-on! xo

Cristina02/05/2014 - 10:11 am

These photos are especially beautiful. I have been adding capers to everything lately, so this recipe is particularly fortuitous. I would happily eat the avocado straight from the bowl, but with the beets piled onto toast, you have yourself a tartine of the highest order.

sandra02/05/2014 - 4:06 pm

how lovely – I was not aware an avocado could be tartare. I thought that referred to the uncooked-ness of a meet. Live and learn!

Lisa | Je suis alimentageuse02/05/2014 - 4:37 pm

Mmm the ripe yet still chunky avocados with the sweetness of beets sounds dreamy. Wonderful photos and a delicious looking recipe! I must try this some time =)

[…] avocado tartare with roasted beets, basil + dukkah […]

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Sophie Harriet03/05/2014 - 1:36 pm

You make healthy food look better than chocolate! I think in this day and age it’s always so tempting to reach for the easy way out, and we find ourselves consuming far too many processed foods. Your blog makes it apparent how worthwhile it is to nourish our bodies with food! Yum!

Tracy03/05/2014 - 7:56 pm

You HAVE to try the avocado/beet dish at Vedge in Philadelphia. Or, there is a version of it in their book. This recipe reminded me of it. It is almost a take on “bagels and lox” but with beets, avocado and smoked tofu.

kelly @ livelovepasta05/05/2014 - 10:40 am

this looks beyond amazing!

[…] Et que serait cette sélection sans recette à base d’avocat? […]

Kasey07/05/2014 - 12:21 am

Being that I’m the eternal pessimist, it sounds like I really should consider gardening. What a beautiful recipe! We’re a big avocado family over here :)

Brian @ A Thought For Food07/05/2014 - 9:14 am

See, I can’t get past the idea of just going to town on a half an avocado with a spoon. But my mind is now totally blown. Such a lovely way to showcase their rich flavor.

abby - little city adventures07/05/2014 - 8:29 pm

This looks amazing! And the photos are gorgeous, as always! So inspiring!

Spring CSA Week 5 «08/05/2014 - 1:35 pm

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Clémentine11/05/2014 - 4:52 am

YuummYumm! I think I’m going to love this tartare! Big fan of avocado and dukkah has been on my “to cook list” for way too long!

I do not know if you have ever tried sweet avocado, Laura… But I’m craving for it: simply with a bit of rice syrup and sometimes some raw cocoa beans! Not a week goes by without it…

A few weeks that I’m following you Laura and I can already tell you that I love your pics, your inspiration and so on! Congrats and thanks for sharing!

Weekend Reading, 5.11.1411/05/2014 - 11:44 pm

[…] incredibly rare that Laura creates a recipe that I’m not impressed by. But this avocado tartare? I can’t […]

[…] vegetarian lately and wanted t get more creative with things I already had in my kitchen.  I found The First Mess blog on pinterest and its one of favorite blogs for beautiful and creative vegetarian dishes.  I had […]

[…] Avocado Tartare with Roasted Beets, Basil & Dukkah via The First Mess […]

Ash13/06/2014 - 12:03 pm

I made this last night, and it met with rave reviews. My husband basically inhaled it. A huge hit – love the capers with the avocados (a combo I’d never have thought to make).

I’m thinking I’ll serve these at a party later this summer…

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