It’s a grown-up lunch with a touch of whimsy today. I had half an avocado to eat and a lunch to make. So a Totoro avocado salad bento was made – a.k.a., Totorocado.
(I think you can make a Totoro out of almost anything round or oval-ish. Which is only one of that character’s many charms. 🙂 ).
If you’ve never seen My Neighbor Totoro (which will give you the origin story for a lot of bento art around the web), go find it streaming somewhere or arrange to borrow it from the library or order the DVD now. It’s a charming movie about family love and childhood magic. This bento will still be here when you get back.
All set? Good!
Totoro is made from half an avocado. I brushed the cut side with lemon juice to help slow the oxidation a bit, but since all you can see is the skin that’s optional. His white belly is white American cheese with seaweed details, as are his eyes. His whiskers, nose, and ears are nori cut freehand or put through a decorative punch, then laid on cheese and cut again. The cheese worked well as reinforcement for the bits that needed stiffening. You can see white outlines, but other than that I’m pleased with the effect.
The rest of the salad is composed of mung bean sprouts, sliced cherry tomatoes (more are hidden under the avocado, tucked into the hollow where the pit used to be). Blue cheese and bacon crumbles are in the cups to the side. The avocado is cut in a cross-hatch pattern inside the skin, so when it’s time to eat all you have to do is gently squeeze or scoop out the flesh. A container of balsamic vinegar and olive oil (not pictured) rounds it out.
The rest of the meal consists of a mini ham and vegetable strata and a couple of fresh cherries to add a little sweetness. Delicious.