Baked avocado and miso mealworm / by Jess Miller

I recently responded to a question of how do I like to eat Tasmanian farmed avocados. My rapid fire response on social media was baked with egg and mealworms, along with seasonal vegetables. This resulted in a bunch of messages asking for recipes of some of the best combinations.

Here is my winter version using the last of the eggplant, cherry tomato and zuchini from my garden (i have a poly tunnel), saffron milk cap mushrooms foraged from my area, eggs from my neighbour, Avoland avocados and miso from Meru Miso in Launceston, oh and mealworms from my farm.

Baked avocado, egg and miso mealworm

Ingredients

half an avocado per person, sliced long ways.

1/8 cup of fresh raw mealworms

1 egg

1/4 eggplant

1/4 medium zuchinni

1 saffron milk cap mushroom, or shitake mushroom if you can’t forage for fresh in your area.

1/4 cup white miso (Tasmanian made organic Meru Miso)

1/4 fresh chilli sliced

1 ramekin, tapas bowl or other ceramic oven safe dish to bake in.

Method.

Preheat oven to 200C

Marinate mealworms in sesame oil, and a smidge of miso paste for at least 20 minutes.

Slice eggplant and salt for 20 minutes to draw out moisture, and any bitterness. I used one of the last eggplants from my poly tunnel, so this was essential.

Slice zuchini and mushroom to same thickness as eggplant to have a roughly even cooking time.

Slowly add water to your miso paste till you have a thick broth that covers 1/4 inch of your baking pot.

Put eggplant, mushroom, zuchini, chilli and miso in cooking pot, and add to preheated oven. Cook till the eggplant has started to soften and caramelise.

Crack egg into halved avocado and place avocado on top of vegetable and miso, and place back into 200C oven. Once the egg yolk has started to firm up, and the white has firmed up this is the time to take it out of the oven and sprinkle the mealworms on top. Any leftover marinating juices can be drizzled onto of the egg and avocado too.

Carefully place your hot pot of miso vegetables, avocado and egg with marinated mealworms back into the oven. Cook for another 5-10 minutes, or until the mealworms start to turn slightly golden. This is when they are done.

Golden rule of cooking fresh edible insects is less is more. If they are burnt, they will taste bitter.

Put the bubbling ramekin of umami goodness on a serving plate with some greens, maybe a good glass of sake and enjoy!