Lately I’ve really been enjoying Mexican and Tex-Mex food. I especially like the wide range of appetizers coming out of this part of the world. I’ve come to love guacamole especially because of its versatility within my cooking repertoire. On the one hand it can be used as a dip just like everyone does. Chop the avocado instead of mash it though, and you’ve got an interesting addition to a mixed salad. Just add some vinaigrette and maybe some crumbled feta cheese and you’ve got a great, easy salad.
Since avocados are the main ingredient here, it’s important to make sure the ones you pick up are ripe. As with many fruits, the avocado should yield slightly when gently squeezed. The skin should be uniformly dark green in color and free of blemishes. Most of the recipe can be varied in any way you like but make sure to add the lime juice. It will help keep the avocado from oxidizing and turning an unattractive brown color.
2 Ripe Haas avocados
1 Beefsteak tomato, seeded & finely chopped
1-2 cloves of garlic1 jalapeno, finely chopped
1/4 cup purple onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro leaves
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1) Cut the avocado in half and separate the halves. Remove the pit and, using a spoon, remove the flesh from the leathery skin. Finely chop the avocado and put it in a bowl.
2) Add remaining vegetables and mash until you have a slightly lumpy guacamole. If you like your guacamole more or less chunky mash until you have the texture you like.
3) Add cilantro and lime juice and stir well. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips.
If you want to vary the recipe a little bit, try using roasted garlic instead of raw. The roasted garlic will add a nice mild, nutty flavor to the dip. If you can get your hands on dried chile pods coarsely grind some dried ancho chiles to add extra flavor to the dip. On occasion I like to add about 1/4 cup grated Montgomery cheddar to the dip just to make it especially rich and delicious.
Here’s another tip for those who’ve never handled an avocado. There’s an easy way to remove that big round seed. Take a butcher knife and give the seed a chop. The knife should bury itself in the seed at which point just lift and the seed should come out with the knife and you won’t sacrifice any avocado flesh. You could use a shallow spoon to dig the pit out, but be prepared to bring some flesh with it. The second option will only be an issue if you want to use the guacamole in a salad or if you like a coarser guacamole. Otherwise, don’t worry about it.