How do I love thee, guacamole? Let me count the ways.
I love thee as a topping for chili and nachos. I love thee as a layer in burritos and tacos. I love thee as a spread on burgers and sandwiches, too. But I love thee never more than when it’s just me and you…and a bowl of crunchy tortilla chips.
Guacamole has to be one of the most versatile dishes around. The buttery flavor and creamy texture of avocados lends to its enjoyment in a myriad of ways. Whether used as a condiment, applied as a spread, eaten as a salad, or served as a dip, guacamole has earned its place in our hearts and stomachs.
What’s more, I love that this humble dip can be gussied up or pared down with seasonings to suite everyone’s tastes. And if you’ve only ever made guacamole prepared with a packet of seasoning mix, get ready to be wowed by the flavor of this recipe. With little more effort and just a handful of ingredients, you can be enjoying fresh guacamole that will make you swoon. Note, since avocados are the star here, its important to make sure you select ripe fruit. Rock hard avocados = not ready. Soft avocados that leave a dent when you apply pressure = past their prime. Round, relatively firm avocados that give a bit when you apply pressure = just right!
I’m calling this recipe Classic Guacamole because there are limited ingredients called for, all of which are relatively traditional with the exception of my omission of any chopped onions. (Sorry onions, not this time.) The result is a guacamole that truly highlights the flavor and texture of the featured ingredient. The garlic adds a little punch, the jalapeño a tame bite, and the cilantro a zesty freshness. Salt, cumin, and lime juice round out the flavors of this bright, creamy guacamole. Enjoy with a generous offering of tortilla chips (I like Trader Joe’s blue corn, organic variety).
This recipe is featured in the following menus: Game Day Chili Menu
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 1 small jalapeño chile
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, lightly packed
- 3 hass avocados, ripe
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons lime juice (from 1 lime)
- Chop the aromatics.
- Finely mince the garlic (yield ~ 1 tablespoon) and add to a medium bowl or storage container. Remove the seeds and ribs from the jalapeño, then finely dice enough of the flesh to yield 2 tablespoons and add to the bowl. Mince the cilantro leaves (yield ~ 1 packed tablespoon) and add to the bowl.
- Slice the avocado.
- Slice each avocado in half lengthwise around the pit. Remove the pit by striking it with the blade of the knife and twisting to release it from the flesh. Slice each avocado half lengthwise and then crosswise to create a grid of approx. ¾-inch cubes. Scoop avocado cubes into the bowl.
- Season, then lightly mash the guacamole.
- Season the avocado mixture with the salt, cumin, and lime juice. Using a fork, stir everything together until well incorporated. While stirring, lightly mash some of the avocados into smaller pieces so that you are left with a guacamole that is both slightly chunky and creamy. Taste for seasoning.
- Refrigerate before serving.
- Press a layer of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the guacamole, cover with a lid, and then refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to combine.
- Top with a sprinkling of cilantro, if desired, and serve alongside tortilla chips.
- Make-ahead and storage notes.
- Guacamole may be made up to 24 hours in advance. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Leftover guacamole will keep for 24-48 hours if you make sure to press the plastic wrap tightly against the exposed surface.