When I hear people say that guacamole is no more that a well seasoned rustic avocado puré I must admit I find it a bit offensive. It’s quite an understatement to think such thing of this Mexican paste that is so good and versatile. It can be a great side dish for meat of fish, you can make filled tomatoes, bell peppers or zucchinis… Not to mention the basics, paired with bread and/or crackers… and, of course you can eat it with a spoon, right from the bowl.
Do you know how to pick a good avocado? Start with the peel. A green shiny peel means that the avocado is not ripe yet. Look for darker shades. Next step, touch it: a ripe avocado is soft and sinks when lightly pressed. In the end, you have the stalk trick. Take the small stalk that you have in the bottom of the fruit and see what color appears. If it’s yellowish, it means it’s not ready and if it’s brown, it’s no longer good. You want to see a nice shade of green, which means the avocado is ripe to perfection.
I’m calling this recipe “à la mode” because this is my version of it. It’s the one I make at home with what I like (or sometimes with what I have laying around), but the variants are endless and each one can (and must) add its personal touch to the delicacy. Choose your ingredients wisely and let your imagination flow.
Avocado is highly fashion nowadays and it’s the darling of all those fitness diets. It has a consistent pulp for it doesn’t have much water in it and it has a high level of (good) fat. It’s filled with fat-soluble vitamins and it potentializes the nutrients absorbtion, allowing your body to take better advantage of the meal you’re having.
Great source of monounsaturated fat, the avocado is rich in vitamins A, B6, C, E and it has more potassium than a banana, which helps prevent diabetes and it keeps good levels of cholesterol in the body. Filled with calcium, magnesium, mineral and phytonutrients, that are those nutrients that come from plants and help prevent cancer, heart diseases and avoid premature aging, it’s no mistery why those babies are the go to choice for those who are looking to improve their food habits.
Let’s get down to business. Making “guaca” has no mistery. All you have to do is chop a few things, mash some avocado and dig in. What are you waiting for?
Guacamole “à la mode”
Ingredients (serves 2)
2 ripe avocados
1/2 red onion
1 garlic clove
Juice of one green lemon
Parsley (or coriander if you’re into it) to taste
Salt and black pepper to taste
- Cut the avocados in half, take the pit of and, with the help of a spoon, carve the pulp of the fruit. Set aside.
- Chop the onion and the tomato (discard the seeds) – I like to make tiny dices but I admit sometimes I’m in a rush or I’m just lazy, so just do it as you please – and crush the garlic clove.
- Smash the avocado with a fork. I enjoy my puré in a rustic chunky way, but if you prefer a more thin paste, all you have to do is keep mashing it, until you get the “right” consistence. Remember that we’re here to make it to our taste, so, don’t be shy.
- Add the juice of one green lemon to this puré. The lemon will not only bring taste to your guacamole, but will also prevent it from going dark since the avocado oxidizes when it’s exposed to oxygen.
- Add the crushed garlic and the chopped onion and tomato.
- Season it with salt and black pepper. Some like to add chilly pepper, or red dried pepper. As I said: à la mode.
- If you want, you can finish it with some fresh parsley ou coriander, if you’re team coriander (I’m not). You can also try some fresh mint or ginger. Forever on the à la (your) mode.
Voilà! Your “personalized” guacamole is ready to be served.
Some would add olive oil to the guaca. The avocado is rich in fat (the so called ‘good fats’) and I really don’t feel the need to add another layer. However, if you can’t go without the olive oil flavor, go ahead. Just remember you don’t need to throw in the entire bottle.
As I said before, it’s a great treat to be served with crackers or fresh bread in a night with friends (or by yourself, on a movie lazy moment). You can use it as a side with grilled chicken ou baked fish. It’s also great to fill tomatoes, bell peppers or any other veggies you may want to so you can impress your guests with something that goes far beyond a simple salad.
Create different versions of you ‘à la mode’ guaca, and have fun with this yummy delicious green cream.
* About the video… No, I did not forget the garlic. I just added powder garlic because I needed to save the garlic I had at home for New Year’s meal. A mix of real life and priorities. And while we’re at it, let me tell you that the original full length of the video is 9min 01 sec, which means it takes less than 10 minutes to make guacamole.
Oh! You can store your guacamole on the frige in case you have leftovers (I don’t think you will, but…). The only thing is that it may turn brown – remember the oxidation thing? Well, some say that if you store it with the avocado pit in it it’ll prevent the oxidation. If you ever try and it works, let me know – I never have guacamole leftovers to give it a try.