There comes a time in the blogging life of every food lover when they have to post about guacamole. Perhaps it’s the ombre yellow green of the fruit itself, short-lived and fickle in oxygenated environments, or maybe it’s the unmistakable creamy texture and subtle flavor. Either way, the avocado in it’s most beloved form is something irresistible and addictive.
But it’s really a special treat in these northern climes… avocados are generally expensive and must be used at just the right time, or they will be unripe and bitter or overripe and stringy. They can be unreliable and disappointing. Avocados are like the little girl who had the little curl, right in the middle of her forehead. When they are good they are very very good, but when they are bad they are horrid. Ergo, guacamole, at least in our small grocery budget house, is rare.
However, on a recent lucky day, one of my most wonderful friends called me from the grocery store asking if I wanted some avocados. They had been mispriced down to $1.25 for 5. Which is about 20% of the regular price here. Yes please! They were quite unripe, but a few days on the counter and they realized their full potential.
I ate half of one on a salad, which was wonderful, and the others I slated for guacamole. The remaining half from my salad I put in a small bowl, added about 2 tbsp lemon juice. I then filled the bowl to cover the half with cold water, then put it in the fridge to see how it would fare the next day. Turns out it was quite lemony and not as delicious as fresh, but it had not browned and was perfectly suitable to add to guacamole. In case you ever need to store half an avocado!
So, here’s how I handle avocados:
(Alton Brown taught me to pinch forward from the back of the knife and push the stone off the blade to avoid a potential ER visit. Thank you, Alton.)
(Why would anyone buy a special tool for scooping and slicing avocados if they had any idea that they could peel so beautifully and with zero waste?)
My new favorite guacamole recipe comes mainly from Cook’s Illustrated, but I tweaked it to my preferences. I include less garlic, some cumin and some tomato from my “garden” (a weedy, rocky area that produces volunteer tomatoes despite neglect and no watering).
(Makes about 1 1/2 cups)
2 avocados, ripe
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 small clove garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press
1 tsp dry cilantro leaves
Cumin, to taste (1/4 tsp?)
1/4 cup finely diced tomato (~1 roma)
1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice
1. Halve 1 avocado, remove pit, peel and chop flesh and place into medium bowl. Using fork, mash lightly with onion, garlic, cilantro, cumin, tomato and 1/8 teaspoon salt until just combined.
2. Halve and pit remaining avocado. Peel, then dice; transfer to bowl with mashed avocado mixture. Sprinkle lime juice over and mix lightly with fork until combined but still chunky. Adjust seasoning with salt, if necessary, and serve.
3. Can be covered with plastic wrap, pressed directly onto surface of mixture, and refrigerated up to 1 day. Return guacamole to room temperature, removing plastic wrap just before serving.