Simple Fresh Guacamole
I honestly don’t remember my first bite of avocado, but I know it was on my premier trek to California between my Freshman and Sophomore years at college. (The one where my Father thought I was going to run off with my boyfriend to a commune in the Mojave Desert trip.)
I loved avocados from the start—creamy, rich, silky chunks tossed in a salad with fresh crab or squished in a sandwich with turkey and bacon. It was like running into an old friend you didn’t know you knew. I was caught off guard. You didn’t find avocados in grocery stores on Long Island back (way back) then.
My first taste of cilantro however was another story. A scatter of freshly chopped cilantro sitting on top of hot and sour soup at a Chinese restaurant in Berkeley. Gack! It tasted like soap! Eventually I came to love cilantro and am always picking it off Ernie’s plate, or asking for extra. I love it with mussels steamed in coconut milk, in herby salads, in Indian dishes and of course, with Mexican food.
I mention these two ingredients because to me they, along with fresh lime juice and crunchy salt, are all you need for really good guacamole. It’s that simple. The problem with a lot of guacamole is people try to doll it up too much with onions and tomatoes and whatever other mysterious ingredients they think taste Mexican I guess.
The trick to good guacamole is the type of avocado (Hass) you use, when you buy it (Spring and Summer are best) and the ripeness. Don’t buy avocados that have little “Ripe” stickers on them. Chances are they have passed their prime. Instead find heavy, very dark green to almost purplish green fruit, free of dents, that yields only slightly to gentle pressure when squeezed. If the avocado feels soft all over, it’s too ripe. And by the way, you don’t need to spend more for organic avocados. They are on the list of 15 Fruits and Vegetables that do not need to be organic either because bugs don’t like them much so they don’t get sprayed with pesticides or the skins are too thick the toxins don’t effect them.
This is a basic recipe to get you started. You might like more lime juice, less salt or more cilantro. Mix the ingredients until the guacamole tastes right to you. Serve with fresh corn chips.
Tip: Avocados won’t turn brown if you peel and pit, then gently rub the outside with a paper towel. Who knew? Two of my dearest friends spent a week at a fabulous spa, Rancho La Puerta, and they learned that in a cooking class. I’ve done it ever since they told me and it works. Seriously. I believe Rancho La Puerta is fabulous because they’ve told me it is and they’ve been several times and another friend goes a few times a year. A few times a year! I would love to go to Rancho La Puerta and learn tips like the avocado tip, go to pilates every day, have massages, hike around the mountains, eat healthy, delicious food…
2 large, ripe Haas Avocados
2-3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2-4 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/4-1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1. Cut avocados in half, remove pit and scoop flesh into a bowl.
2. Add 2 tablespoons of lime juice, 2 tablespoons of cilantro and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
3. Mash all together with a fork or potato masher. I actually use my hand and mush the mixture through my fingers. It’s very satisfying and I have one very soft hand afterwards.
4. Adjust lime juice, cilantro and salt to your taste.