In late 2016 the breakfast culinary delight, Smashed Avocado, became a political football when Australian demographer, Bernard Salt, wrote in local media, “that young people buying smashed avocado with crumbled feta on five-grain toasted bread at $22 a pop was contributing to their inability to buy a home”.
This glib remark caused a total social media frenzy, and a new cultural group was formed : Baby Boomers, Gen Y, Millennials, and now, the Smashed Avocado Set. My youngest daughter proudly labels herself thus.
I am quietly awaiting another uproar by the masses following my recent offering of Smashed Brussel Sprouts at Christmas lunch.
Brussel Sprouts have a proud history with their forerunners likely cultivated in Ancient Rome and possibly as early as the 1200s, in Belgium. The first written description of Brussels sprouts was in 1587. These misunderstood little packages of goodness have been included in works of literature throughout the ages, and in Australia became a part of folklore, with the chant “Far Out, Brussel Sprout” being heard within school yards and public service buildings across the country.
Sadly in some countries Brussel Sprouts are reviled. A 2008 survey by Heinz names this compact little vegetable the most hated vegetable in America, and in the Top 5 around the world.
Here is my nod to the humble Brussel Sprout:
Cook Brussel Sprouts in salted boiling water for 15 minutes. We don’t want them soft, just not rock hard.
Drain and tip into an ice bath. Yes, like an athlete after a big game.
When coolled, Smash. Do not obliterate. You want them to retain their shape, so just press the bread board down hard on them, so they look thinner. Appearance is everything these days, and as some old biddy once said “ you can never be too thin”.
Place on a tray which has been lined with baking paper.
In a bowl mix pepper, crushed garlic, olive oil, cheese, and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over Brussel Sprouts
Bake in oven for twenty minutes , or when topping is golden in colour, and serve immediately.
I loved this dish, though in the total scheme of things, it was an abysmal failure. Surrounded by prawns, ham, turkey and several boxes of chocolates this concoction did not even rate a look in by the younger guests at Christmas lunch.
It looks like I’ll be eating it on my own for months to come.