After a gloriously failed attempt at starting my garden this year from seeds, I gave up and decided to purchase seedlings instead. I’m happy to report that all appear to be doing quite well in their patio containers, but I am learning a few things about gardening in Virginia versus gardening in California, and the lesson that resulted in today’s post came from my cilantro plant. You see, cilantro is quite happy in milder temperatures, like the ones found on California’s central coast year round, and will grow well there. I kept a cilantro plant for about a year (the length of my California gardening adventure), and could harvest rather regularly. This is not the case here.
I planted my little seedlings in May, and with somewhat milder temperatures, my cilantro seemed pretty happy, so I felt confident and treated it basically the same way I had previously, until the weather warmed up and that plant seemed determined to flower! I was rather distraught that the beautiful leaves that should have been growing were replaced by spindly ferns and buds, and I had no idea why. Thankfully, Google came to the rescue, and I read on several gardening sites that cilantro, while it loves sun, does not love hot weather and will try to seed immediately. With an average temperature in the 90s several days a week, it seems my best option for the duration of the summer is to let my cilantro plant do its thing until the weather cools and it returns to providing me fresh cilantro in the fall. If you are a gardener and have other advice, I’m all ears, please!
While we were still not quite in full mid-Atlantic summer weather, my little cilantro plant was growing happily and I found myself with a surplus of cilantro! We used it in many recipes, and via a little experimentation, I came up with this. This was born out of necessity, a way to use cilantro and a few other ingredients I had on hand, but it was so good, we enjoyed it again for breakfast the next day and felt quite fancy indeed. Avocado whipped cream just sounds pretentious bistro brunchy, doesn’t it?
Let’s talk about this whipped cream. I searched for a savory avocado infused whipped cream recipe and came up short. All the avocado whipped anything recipes I found involved sweetener or chocolate and were part of a dessert. So as far as I know, this was a pretty unique idea. Yay me. Yay you. Impress your friends. Just be sure to mash the avocados very very well so they’re smooth before you mix them with the whipped cream.
I built the stacks over some bread we had on hand, but I think polenta cakes, grits, or even a tortilla would be a good alternative. To keep things simple, and because I don’t think my husband would have approved of me using the coffee water to poach eggs, I made the eggs sunny side up, and used a store bought salsa. It’s a New Mexico green chili salsa, to keep with the green ingredient theme, and worked perfectly to omit an additional step in making this breakfast, which comes together in less than 15 minutes. Just in time for coffee.
For the Avocado Whipped Cream:
- 1/2 c heavy cream
- 1/2 cup well mashed avocado (about 3/4 of a Hass avocado)
- Juice from 1 lime (about 3 tbsp)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp cumin
- 3 tbsp finely diced cilantro
For the stacks:
- 4 slices toasted bread of your choice
- 4 eggs, poached or sunny side up
- 1/2 cup green salsa
- 1 batch of the Savory Avocado Whipped Cream
- Additional fresh cilantro for topping
- Make the avocado whipped cream by placing the heavy cream in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Slowly raise the speed to high until the cream just comes together to form very soft peaks. Add the mashed avocado, salt, and cumin. Whip another 10-15 seconds on high until you have reached a firm peak/whipped cream consistency. Add the lime juice and cilantro. Mix just until combined. Set aside.
- If it isn't already toasted, toast your bread, and place one slice per plate.
- Poach or fry the eggs and top each slice of toast with one egg. Larger appetites may prefer a second egg or a second complete stack.
- Spoon 1-2 tbsp of salsa over each egg, top with the savory avocado whipped cream, and garnish with additional fresh cilantro.
- Serve immediately.
See this and other great recipes at Full Plate Thursday