My first true exposure to the beauty of avocados was the first time I lived in California. My pal, Melinda, had two giant avocado trees in her backyard and she always asked me to make the guacamole whenever they hosted parties for the club volleyball team. Then before we’d head home for the evening, she would grab me by the arm and foist a grocery bag full of avocados on me. “Take these!” she would insist. Gladly, Mel.
the goods: avocados, sweet onion, tomato, jalapeño, garlic, lemon, salt
In New York, I recounted how we used to roll avocados across Melinda’s backyard to see if her cat would be fooled enough to pounce on them. My lab mate looked at me incredulously and said, “Oh sure, roll $3 here, $3 there!” I realized how ridiculous it sounded, and it became more painfully clear when I started shopping for avocados in the Northeast.
pit the avocado – free the flesh
Back in California for a 3-year stint, I had my eye on different recipes and preparations. I took mental notes somehow knowing that we would eventually settle where you can’t rely on good guac anywhere you go. [Digression: I have a horrible habit of mutilating pronunciations for fun – so I call it something that sounds like Wack-a-Mole instead.]
make a garlic and salt paste
Because my better half eats the guacamole I make, I have modified it so that there aren’t chunky bits to offend his sensitivities. Jeremy has expanded his culinary horizons since the day we met to beyond what I thought was humanly possible, so I cannot complain (too much). His objections are mainly with the raw tomatoes, raw onions, garlic, and jalapeño being chunky. Basically everything but the salt, lemon, and avocado. Sheesh. But he admits that the flavors are important. This is why I mince the garlic and then sprinkle the salt on top and use the flat of my knife blade to pulverize it into a garlicky paste. I must admit that I find a honking huge chunk of raw garlic to be a little disconcerting in guacamole.
i mash the avocado with… my potato masher
add the rest of the vegetables that have been chopped to oblivion
I deseed the tomato because I don’t like the added moisture from the guts. Just chop it along the equator and squeeze/shake out the guts or run a spoon or finger through to remove it all. Then I cut it into a fine chop so you’d never know a tomato was in there save for the color in the guacamole. And when handling a jalapeño pepper, do yourself a favor and wear a glove because rubbing your eyes after handling one with bare hands is a miserable, miserable, wholly unhappy existence (ask me how it is I know).
add lemon juice to taste
Did I mention that Mel had lemon trees in her yard too? How convenient. It was like the guacamole yard because she usually grew her own tomatoes in her garden as well. This guacamole is definitely on the creamy side. If you like chunky, by all means – just don’t offer any to Jeremy. I know some folks like to add sour cream, but I just can’t. I love the freshness of the ingredients without any dairy (and I have this lactose intolerance problem too) and I feel that it’s already pretty spanking creamy since none of the ingredients measure more than a micron across…
planting the white corn tortilla chip on mount guacamole in the name of good eatin’
4 avocados, ripe
1 tomato, deseeded and minced fine
1 jalapeño, deseeded and minced fine
1/8 sweet onion, minced fine
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 lemon, juice of
salt to taste
Halve the avocados and remove the pits. Scoop out the flesh into a sturdy bowl. Mash the avocado to a consistency of your liking. Smash or mince the garlic clove and sprinkle the salt over the garlic. Turn the knife blade on its side and press the salt into the garlic forming a paste. Add the paste to the avocado. But the tomato along its equator and remove the seeds. Dice the tomato to a consistency o your preference. Add to the avocado. Deseed the jalapeño and mince the pepper. Add to avocado. Chop or mince the sweet onion and add to the avocado. Mix the ingredients together and then pour lemon juice to taste. Add more salt if needed. If not serving right away, wrap the guacamole in plastic wrap, pressing the wrap down to touch the surface of the dip so you minimize the amount of air between the two layers. Refrigerate.