When I was 10 years old, I had one of those experiences that should have forever soured me on all football-related things–I was hit squarely in my left eye with a football that was kicked in the other direction. I’m certain that the football’s final destination was preordained and wherever I stood that day, it would have found me.
Because of that, I never developed a particular love for that particular sportball and still don’t really understand the appeal. But I can appreciate an occasion to gather with people and snack. This guacamole is, of course, perfect for your “Big Game” celebration but you really shouldn’t relegate your avocado consumption to just the one time a year when everybody’s doing it.
While the humble avocado has been blasted as the downfall of the millennial generation, it’s also brought good fat, potassium, and vitamin K to the under-40 set. The avocado’s allure is so strong that Amazon’s first order of business after buying Whole Foods was to announce to the world that they would be dropping avocado prices by 29%. What’s more, avocados sustained me for the better part of the last five years, when my sister and I would eat toast and avocado every. single. night.
Your perfect, ready-to-go avocado should yield slightly when you press on it and should require no more than a butter knife to cut through the skin. This is very important. Under-ripe, too-hard avocados fight back if you try to eat them too soon. Just ask three (three!) of my friends, who, within weeks of each other, sliced their fingers and ended up with hospital-level injuries. I was nowhere near them but I still felt guilty. I was sure that some of my avocado love influenced their decisions that night.
Here’s a how-to to avoid that kind of pain: Run your knife around the length of the ripe avocado. Twist it (top and bottom in opposite directions) to separate. If the fruit is ripe enough, the pit should come out with some wiggles with your hand (think of a loose tooth). Do not use the biggest knife in your kitchen to guillotine the pit, and maybe your hand, into oblivion. If it doesn’t budge, use your safety/butter knife to pry it out (away from you). Scoop out the half or use your knife to make slices in the peel and then scoop them out.
If you’re downing avocados on the regular, be sure to buy them at various levels of ripeness so one is always ready to be fanned out on toast or mashed for guacamole.
So back to the guac.
Don’t be afraid to add things to it. There are the purists, of course, who wouldn’t dream of adding an extra crunch with some fresh Gala apples or jicama. And those who would scoff at adding mango or pomegranate arils (seeds) to the mix. Show them the error of their ways.
Get crafty with your serving. If you’ve managed to keep the peel intact, scoop your guac back in those. If they’re a little worse for the wear, a bowl will do just fine.
Inspired by Allrecipes
3 avocados, scooped and mashed
1 lime, juiced
Salt, to taste (The original recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of salt but I find that it’s a little too salty, especially when you’re using salted chips)Scant 1/2 cup diced onion or 1 shallot, diced, if that’s what you have around
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
1/2 cup chopped grape tomatoes (about 8 or 9 grape tomatoes)
Red pepper flakes, to taste
Mix and match as you please. Don’t overwhelm the guac with too many mix-ins but don’t skimp either.
1/2 cup of pomegranate arils (seeds)
1/2 an apple, diced (feel free to add more if you like it, especially if the apple is small)
1 ripe mango, diced
1/2 cup jicama, diced
In a medium bowl, mash to your desired consistency the avocados, lime juice, and salt. Mix in onion, cilantro, and tomatoes. Add mix-ins, if using. Refrigerate 1 hour for best flavor, or serve immediately.
If you’re refrigerating, lay plastic wrap across the top of the guacamole and be sure that it’s in direct contact with the guac. This will keep the guacamole from being exposed to the air, which is what causes that unsightly but still edible browning. That pit trick you may have heard–the one in which you keep the avocado pit in the guac to keep it from browning–only works on the small portion of guacamole covered by the pit.
Serve with chips, additional apple slices, carrots, plantain chips, you name it. My favorite is Garden of Eatin’s No Salt Added Blue Chips.* There’s enough salt in this world. Cut back where you can.
*This link will take you to an Amazon page for a 12-pack of chips; I couldn’t find anything smaller to share with you. If you do decide that you need that many bags of chips, I will get a percentage of the sale via the Amazon Affiliates program.