Crunchy and fresh paired with a hint of creamy heat makes for the perfect summer appetizer. Using an English cucumber provides a milder cucumber taste without over shadowing the flavor of the avocado filling. Five simple Flavor Tiers creates a scrumptious appetizer with minimal effort. Pair with a tomato based appetizer, such as Piazza dell’ Anfiteatro Roasted Tomato Crostini, and you have a great start to a casual dinner.
1 English cucumber, 12” – 18” long
1/2 t kosher salt, divided
1 Haas avocado
1 T shallots, minced
1 T fresh chives, chopped fine
1/8 t cayenne
1 T red pepper, chopped
½ T fresh lime juice
4 slices bacon, fried
12 thin slices red pepper, 1” long
12 chives spears, 1” long
1 T roasted garlic infused olive oil (can substitute regular extra virgin olive oil)
Wash cucumber. Cut of the ends and peel alternating peeled strips and unpeeled strips. Cut cucumber into 12 slices. Using a melon baller, scoop out the seeds leaving a small part in the bottom. Do not cut all the way through. Evenly sprinkle slices with ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. Turn cucumber slices upside down on paper towels. Let sit 30 minutes.
Cut avocado in half, remove pit and scoop flesh into small bowl and mash. Add remaining salt, shallots, chives, cayenne, red pepper and lime juice. Stir until mixed. Cover with plastic pushing down on top of mix. Let sit at least 15 minutes to meld flavors.
Break three slices bacon into small pieces. Stir into avocado mix.
Fill cucumber slices with the avocado mix.
Break the remaining bacon slice into small shards. Push a shard into each filled cucumber cube leaving mostly exposed. Push a red pepper slice and chive spear into each cucumber cube. Place three cubes on each of four serving plates.