Allana's Third of July

28 June, 2013

Allana's Third of July

When I was in high school, my family, friends and I started a tradition of celebrating the "3rd of July," rather than the 4th. I'm not sure what prompted our rebellious holiday, but I do know that it's been almost ten years going and the 3rd is still hands down, my favorite holiday. Yep, I love it more than Christmas. What's great about this holiday is that it has truly weathered years of friendship. High school, college, new jobs, friends moving away, friends moving back and the like; the 3rd always remains a summer staple where my core group of friends reconnect, grill out and wear red, white & blue clothing- no exceptions.

With the end of June approaching, the menu planning has begun in my household. Every year, the food ends up being slightly different. One year, we decided to go only Italian and serve various type of bruschetta and pasta. Another, we tried Mexican. One time we decided to do only appetizer & desserts, ending the night with an "ice-cream bar" which was of course wildly successful.This year we are sticking to the basics and doing light appetizers and grilling burgers, brats and hot-dogs. I wanted to switch things up a bit and try my hand at a "deconstructed" guacamole dish. Thanks to a minimal ingredient list & Gourmet Gardens, I was able to create something simple, tasty & refreshing, perfect for my 3rd party and all of your 4th of July celebrations!

Using Gourmet Gardens Garlic, Cilantro, Italian Herbs & Chili Pepper, I created a bruschetta of sorts, using the ingredients normally found in a guacamole recipe. Instead of chips, I grabbed a few slices of a leftover Baguette, spreading a light layer of Gourmet Garden Garlic on each slice. Then, while the bread was in the toaster oven, I mashed one whole avocado with a few squeezes of fresh lime juice and a generous squeeze of Gourmet Garden Chili Pepper. Finally, I halved a half pint of cherry tomatoes & tossed them with salt, pepper, olive oil, Gourmet Garden Italian Herbs & Cilantro. Assembly of this bruschetta takes a few minutes, layering each slice with the avocado spread, marinated tomatoes & finally, garnishing with a few slivers of red onion.

Not exactly your go-to guacamole, I thought it was better. The beauty of this recipe is the freedom to play around with different ingredients as well as Gourmet Gardens Herbs and Spices. The tomatoes could easily be tossed with Gourmet Garden Basil or Parsley instead. Use hummus, spreadable cheese or salsa on the toasted garlic bread instead of guacamole. This dish came together in minutes, something I look for when cooking for my friends and family on the 3rd.

From my kitchen to yours, happy 3rd (and 4th!) of July!

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