I tend to gravitate toward recipes that are really simple, to the point of being obvious. Like my ideal salsa, the ideal guacamole doesn’t need to have secret, outside-the-box ingredients to taste incredible. It’s about getting the ratios right, balancing the acid and the heat and the subtle sinus-burn of raw onion with the right amount of salt. If you hit those points, you’ll end with guacamole that’s clean tasting, bright, satisfying, and addictive.
Lets talk about avocados though. I know a lot of people who go to the store the day they want to make guacamole and stand in the produce section squeezing every avocado in the bin until they find one that’s ready. Then they go home, chop their cilantro, squeeze their limes, and when they crack open the avocado, it’s half brown inside and utterly hideous. This has happened to me more times than I care to admit, and it took this next piece of information for me to see the light: avocados don’t ripen until after they are picked. That means the avocados that are soft in the bin are also old.
So now, and forever more, I buy avocados when they are green and hard (hard enough to survive the rough journey from across the country) and let them ripen on my counter, free from the squeezes of strangers. I haven’t opened a disappointing avocado in years. The price you have to pay for perfect avocados is planning. Buy them at least 3-4 days before you need to use them.
Besides avocados, you need a lime, a handful of cilantro, a jalapeño, and a red onion.
And because I like my guacamole very chunky, I try to get the flesh away from the peel in one piece, and dice instead of mash.
The Ideal Guacamole
2 small, ripe avocados (yielding a little over a cup of diced flesh – double or triple the recipe for a big batch)
2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp jalapeño, finely minced (about one small pepper, remove seeds if you’re a wimp like me)
1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
juice of one lime
salt to taste
1. Dice onion, chop cilantro, and mince jalapeño. Combine in a mixing bowl with lime juice and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
2. Cut open avocados, remove pits, and take off the peels while keeping the avocado flesh as intact as possible. Dice and add to bowl with onion mixture.
3. Stir and mash slightly with the back of a spoon. Taste for seasoning, add more lime juice or salt if necessary. Serve with chips.