Saturday, January 29, 2011

Vegetarian Chili + No-Fuss Guacamole and Sweet-and-Sour Radishes

What's on your chili is certainly as important as what's in it. For me, what's up on top has got to be a little over-the-top, because it makes every bite of chili different by adding an element of creaminess, richness, or crunchiness to every spicy spoonful.

Though chili is thought to be an American invention, I like to take a more Mexican approach to the garnish. I almost can't eat chili without guacamole; it just doesn't seem right without it. Sour cream (or mexican creama), sliced green onions, and fresh cilantro are also a must. Queso fresco (or feta) adds a nice bit of richness and saltiness to the dish, and the thinly sliced radishes are bright and crunchy. Make a big pot of vegetarian chili and then go all-out with your own toppings.

No-Fuss Guacamole:

2 ripe Haas avocados
juice from 1/2 lime
2 tablespoons finely diced red onion
a pinch of sea salt
a pinch of sugar
cracked black pepper

Rinse the chopped onion in cold water to get rid of any astringent onion flavor. Peel and dice the avocados and place them in a medium bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and stir. If serving this as a dip, add one peeled and diced tomato along with a handful of chopped cilantro.

Sweet-and-Sour Radishes:

5 radishes (cleaned, trimmed)
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon agave syrup
sea salt
black pepper

Thinly slice radishes using a mandolin or sharp knife. Mix the lime juice and the agave syrup together, and pour the mixture over the radishes. Season with salt and pepper.

So...what do you like to eat on top of your chili?


Jenny said...

Sounds great! Thanks for the radish idea.

Miss Snow said...

I really like the idea of the sweet and sour radishes on top! Never would have thought of it but I'm definitely trying it next time we have chili.