Posted by Stephanie Simpson on
Today, we set sail!
Aboard our buttery-green boat, The Avocado, we have our sights on steering our vessel through uncharted (for me, at least!) waters: the sweet seas of dessert.
(What’s that you say? Avocado-based dessert? Aye aye, friends!)
But like any trip worth taking, it’ll be some time before we reach our final destination. So today, our avocado adventure begins elsewhere:
No doubt, this is some of the most familiar territory there is when it comes to the North American use of avocados. And for good reason: guacamole is delicious! But there’s more to it than that.
Here’s why I think you should get on board with guacamole:
1. Making guacamole really is a taste adventure. On paper, guacamole is just a few fresh ingredients mixed together. But because those ingredients are chosen with care to provide contrasting textures and flavours, the result is so much more than the sum of its parts. If you pay attention to the way the flavours and textures change as you make adjustments to your guacamole - what does lime juice do to the sweetness of the tomato, or the general saltiness of the guacamole? - you’re definitely going to learn.
2. Store-bought guacamole is kind of like the Venice in Vegas: a masquerade of the real deal, bulked up with all sorts of things that just shouldn’t be there.
3. For those of you who don’t have the stomach for long boat rides and unusual desserts, I don’t want you to miss out on all the fun! And, as I’ve mentioned, if you take the time to taste and experiment - use the recipe below as a starting point, but see where your taste buds will take you! - you’re going to have fun too!
4. And, finally, what’s a good pita chip without guacamole?
Keep scrolling, and you’ll find a recipe for guacamole - again, think of it as a good base with which to experiment - along with a few tips and a couple of happy shout-outs!
I’ll be tinkering with avocado desserts over the weekend and, with any luck (and a lot of taste-testing help from friends!), I’ll have something for you on Monday that’ll be worthy of an expedition to the grocery store, at least!
Inspired by Gourmet and allrecipes.com
Makes ~3.5 cups
A note on spiciness: Want your guacamole to have some kick? Stir in a good pinch of cayenne or a finely-diced jalapeno (with the skins and seeds removed, unless you want something really hot) when you add the onions, tomatoes and cilantro.
3 ripe avocados, pits and skins discarded*
1 large clove of garlic
3/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 medium tomato, finely diced
1/2 cup onion, super-finely diced** (red onion is nice, though white works in a pinch!)
3 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1. In a mortar and pestle, bash up garlic and salt to a paste.*** In a medium bowl, use a fork to mash avocados with garlic paste and lime juice until the consistency is to your liking. Add remaining ingredients and stir to incorporate. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt and lime juice as necessary. Store in the fridge for an hour to let the flavours to if you can manage to wait that long!
*To check for ripeness: give the avocado a gentle squeeze; if it gives slightly, it should be good to go! And while the skins of avocados often turn black as they ripen, the colour test isn’t as sure of a thing as giving the avocado a gentle squeeze. As for how to cut and pit an avocado: photo instructions will be up this weekend! If you just can’t wait that long, check out this rather safety-conscious video!
**Not sure how to dice an onion? Check out last week’s post!
***You’re fine to simply mince the garlic, though bashing it with salt will draw out a lot more flavour!
Finally, I want to give a big shout-out to Mel, the source of inspiration for this series! It wasn’t until Mel requested, as part of last month’s Recipe Request, I make an avocado-based dessert that I gave any thought to sweetening avocados. A big thanks too to Andrea for taste-testing my first-ever avocado-themed dessert and for giving it the review I needed to have the confidence to barrel ahead with this. Thank you both! :)