Ten years ago, when I turned twenty-one, I had never fallen head over heels in love, and I had never cared for guacamole. Then I met a charming boy who urged me to spend the summer with him in California, where good guacamole was ubiquitous and, it turned out, very much to my taste. (Maybe this is why I’m always surprised to see mountains of avocados at the store in the days leading up to the Super Bowl; for me, guacamole is all about summer.) The boy ended up breaking my heart disastrously, but guacamole has never let me down. As I made a batch last week with my usual puppylike excitement (Guacamole! Guacamole!), I wondered if this past decade of avocado-y pleasure has made up for the year or two of pain and self-doubt incurred by the heartbreak. I think the answer is yes.
Like love, guacamole never looks the same way twice, and we all have our own requirements and preferences. I like it chunky with tomatoes, garlic, onions, and not a lot else. I have yet to discover my ideal recipe, but until I do, Ina Garten’s is my starting point. Sometimes I add cilantro, lime juice, or cumin, and sometimes I skip the Tabasco. I am in the business of collecting guacamole tips, so if there are brilliant insights out there I hope you will share.
- Yield:3 cups, serving 2 greedy people or 4-6 reasonable people
- 4 ripe Haas avocados
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
- 8 dashes Tabasco
- 1/2 cup small-diced red onion
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
Cut the avocados in half, remove the pits, and scoop the flesh into a large bowl.
Immediately add the lemon juice, Tabasco, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper and toss well. Using a sharp knife, slice through the avocados in the bowl until they are finely diced. Add the tomatoes. Mix well and taste for salt and pepper.