Avocado is a versatile vegetable at the best of times, but is transformed into something completely different when turned into Guacamole. In a blog post for Great British Chefs, Monica Shaw celebrates National Guacamole Day.
Photo by Monica Shaw
Avocado alone is a beautiful thing, but add to it a bit of lime, onion, cilantro, tomato and chilli and it becomes so much more. Yes, I’m talking about guacamole, and if there’s any green blob of edible mush that deserves more recognition, it’s this.
Today is National Guacamole Day, a fine excuse to rediscover this divine avocado dip that is so much more than a delivery device for corn chips and tacos. I’ve seen people put guacamole on burgers, eat it with fish, and a German chef I know even blitzes his with boiled egg and uses it as a dip for artichokes (though you could argue that the guacamole ceased to be guacamole when he added the egg to it).
Which brings me to my next point: what is the ultimate guacamole recipe? Most people agree that lime, cilantro, salt and pepper are essential, as is onion, but what type of onion? And do you add tomato and chilli? Well that depends on who you ask.
World-renowned Mexican chef Rick Bayless adds Serrano chillies and white onion, and recommends crumbled Mexican cheese and radish for garnish (is this necessary?). Lisa Fain of The Homesick Texan also includes Serrano chillies but omits the onion completely. Elise Bauer of Simply Recipes uses red onion, while food journalist Felicity Cloake reckons spring onions are the way to go.
In my world, the best guacamole is made with perfectly ripe avocados, not pureed but left chunky, full of chopped white onion, cilantro, tomato, a bit of salt and lots of lime juice and pepper. Were Serrano chillies and jalapeno peppers more available in the UK, I’d probably add those too.
But that’s just me. How would you make the perfect guacamole? We’re discussing this over on Great British Chefs’ Facebook page. Plus Shaun Rankin has a great recipe for spicy chunky guacamole here, which is simple & delicious.