Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Holy Guacamole!

Rachel here: There are few things better than good avocados, I think. I've always loved them, but once I became pregnant with M I became kind of obsessed because they're a superfood of sorts. A superfood that is easy to eat? Sold. At some point during my pregnancy I began eating avocados sprinkled with a dash of salt nearly everyday. Anyway, fast forward to last night and we're not only in the peak of avocado season but M was in the midst of a hearty evening nap.

The stars rarely align so nicely. Anyway, John and I tiptoed away from our sleeping baby into the kitchen and I sliced into the avocados I'd bought earlier that day. One taste and I knew that I'd be forgoing a more involved guacamole in favor of the simplest version possible. These were the creamiest, most perfect avocados around.

I made a little side salsa with the ingredients I'd bought on the chance that the avocados weren't so wonderful. We popped open a bag of corn chips and a couple of beers and stood in the kitchen relishing the quiet and each other's company as the evening settled in around us. It was so simple and so wonderful.

4 extra large avocados
1 medium white onion, diced
4 medium roma tomatoes, diced
1 small lime
1/2 a medium lemon
3/4 tspn. salt, divided

Scoop avocado into a medium bowl and squeeze the juice from one lime over it. Add 1/2 tspn. salt and mash with a fork (I like mine chunky). In a separate bowl (or the same one if the avocados aren't great), combine tomatoes, onion, juice from the half lemon and the remaining 1/4 tspn. salt. Mix and serve with the guacamole and chips. Enjoy!

Janet here: I don't make guacamole often for one simple reason: I would eat the whole damn bowl. Yup, I love it, especially guacamole that's got a little zing to it. Sadly in the Northeast, buying ripe avocados is virtually impossible so you have to plan ahead if you want to get your guacamole fix to give them time to ripen. (Another example of California's food superiority.)

Anyway if you want an avocado fix, this salad adapted from the Barefoot Contessa at Home does the trick quite nicely. It's easy to whip up and makes a nice side salad on a hot summer night when turning on the oven is the last thing on your to-do list.

Guacamole Salad
serves 4

1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced into 1/2 inch pieces, seeded
7 oz black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup diced red onion
1 tablespoon minced jalapeno peppers
1/4 teaspoon lime zest
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 ripe avocados, seeded and peels, 1/2 inch diced

Place the tomatoes, pepper, black beans, red onions, peppers and lime zest in a large bowl. Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and cayenne pepper and pour over the vegetables. Toss well.

Just before you're ready to serve, fold in the avocados. Check the seasoning and serve at room temperature.

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