I’m not sure I want to admit this in public, but avocados give tomatoes a run for their money in my “favorite foods of summer” category. I like to eat them on toast, in a fashion similar to Tomatoes on Toast, only without the mayonnaise. Actually, they make a good substitute for the mayonnaise. Also good? Avocado, turkey, bacon and tomato — on toast, naturally.
Sometimes, though, I do branch out into non-sandwich territories; shocking, I know. Guacamole is one of my favorite things to eat. When I lived in Columbus, there was a 24-hour taqueria that served guacamole. When you ordered, they broke out the avocado, smashed it together with some onion, cilantro, salt and lime juice, and filled a small styrofoam takeout container. For about three bucks. That, a spoon and a glass of horchata made up my dinner many, many nights after getting off work at the restaurant. At 2am.
When I make guacamole at home, I follow a progression similar to my method for tomato enjoyment. At first, I just use lime juice and salt; later in the week I’ll add onion and cilantro, and if I’m feeling crazy I might put some tomatoes in there too. Garlic, too, sometimes. It’s not one of those things that lends itself to recipes, but I tried to pay attention a few minutes ago so I could give you a recipe. Please feel free to scale up or down, add or subtract ingredients, and otherwise do as you please. It does go brown quickly, but I find it freezes pretty well. I always toss a pit in the freezer bag, though I don’t know if that helps it to stay green while it thaws. I figure it can’t hurt, right?
- 4 medium avocados
- juice of half a lime
- 1t kosher salt
- 1 small white or red onion, chopped, optional
- handful of fresh cilantro leaves, chopped, optional (don’t use the stems for this)
- 1 medium tomato, chopped, optional (I recommend removing the pulpy seed bits)
- 1 clove garlic, minced, optional
Cut the avocados in half. I do this by slicing around the pit, then twisting; if they’re reasonably ripe, the pit will come free easily. If not, the guacamole might not be very good and you might want to stop and use them sliced on sandwiches instead. Or you can whack the pit with your knife; it will stick to the blade, but don’t hit too hard or you’ll have the devil of a time removing it. Remember, they’re slippery.
Squoosh or spoon the avocado flesh into a bowl, and add the remaining ingredients. Go easy on the lime juice at first. Its strength really varies wildly from lime to lime. If you’re going for a chunky texture, just smash a few times with a fork and lightly blend everything together; this is what I usually prefer. But sometimes you want something that’ll make a good sandwich spread when the tortilla chips run out, in which case, break out a spoon and mash it down to a smooth texture. Taste for seasoning; add more lime or salt if necessary. I like to let the flavors meld for about five minutes before eating.
If you’re going to freeze some, do it right away, before it starts to oxidize.