Between Cinco de Mayo and my own personal obsession with guacamole, it’s been impossible to get avocado off my mind. It’s even replaced Georgia and you. Thankfully, there have been some deliciously ripe and perfect avocados at my grocery store this week, allowing me to, erm, “practice” the tips I’m writing about today.
Let me start by dropping a bit of botany knowledge on this post. Last week, I talked about my love for berries ““ none of which were actually botanical berries. Strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries are considered “aggregate” fruits. This week, I am not talking about anything most people would recognize as a “berry” but I am talking about a botanical berry ““ the avocado.
How the heck does all this work? Well, let’s talk a little about how flowering plants have sex. Pollen is like plant sperm. A stigma, the female plant part designed to catch pollen, catches pollen on its feathery or sticky pad. After the stigma catches the pollen, the pollen can grow down the style and reach the eggs in the ovary. Once an egg has been fertilized, we are set for fruit to happen. Fun fact and 100% side note ““ some plants can selectively abort developing fruit, generally when environmental conditions change or the plant is getting attacked by predators or disease or the pollen is of poor quality.
Anyway, back on track, this whole deal (the stigma, style, and ovary) all together makes up the basic female plant reproductive unit called a “carpel.” In a single flower, the carpel can be all by its lonesome, or there can be a whole gaggle of them. Carpels can then either be fused or totally separate. I know, the world of plants is a wild one. We’re almost at the punch line, though.
See, a berry is made from a single flower with a single carpel. An aggregate fruit is made from a single flower with many separate carpels. So next time someone tries to lure you into the “is tomato a fruit or a vegetable” discussion, give them the side-eye, explain that a better question is “why are raspberries called raspberries and not raspaggregatefruits.” P.S. ““ tomatoes are berries.
So now that your mind has been blown with science, I can get to the actual food. Avocados are fatty and delicious and they add something nice to basically everything. I mean, there are recipes for avocado-chocolate cakes, which I have to admit, I have not tried yet. I like to add it to VBLT (veggie bacon, lettuce, and tomato) sandwiches or salads. Sometimes, I just smash a peeled and de-seeded avocado with a spoon, add some salt and pepper, and spread it on bread. It’s delicious and easy and one of the ways I found to stretch a 79 cent avocado (thanks, California!) and some sort of carb (chips, bread, etc) into an entire meal.
Also, if you ever have leftover avocado, or as I and Kenneth Parcell like to call it, bonus avocado, keep the seed with the leftovers and seal them airtight. It should help keep the color and freshness. I’m not sure why you’d ever have leftover avocado, but there you go. Just in case.
Before I go, let me share with you my favorite guacamole recipe.
2 large avocados
Juice from one lime
Chopped cilantro to taste (0 or 1 or 2 or 3 tablespoons, you know my policy on this ““ leave it out if your genes dictate)
Two cloves garlic
¼ large red onion
Salt to taste
Black or cayenne pepper to taste
Cut, peel, and de-seed the avocados like a boss. Put them in a large bowl and smash those dudes up. I use a spoon because apart from my love of food processors, I am pretty low-tech. Juice a lime and splash it all over the smooshed avocado. Mix it all up until you have a tangy avocado cream (leave some avocado chunks if you want ““ it’s your guac). Chop up the cilantro nice and fine and dump it onto the mixture. Dice the onion and mince the garlic and add that to bowl. It’s like a party in there now. Add the salt and pepper and mix it all up.
Now, some people love tomato in their guacamole. I love me some tomato, but I usually sprinkle it on top or leave it on the side. My reasoning is twofold ““ one, I don’t want to make runny guac by mistake and two, if I do have to store the guacamole in the fridge, I prefer to have the option of adding fresh, non-refrigerated tomato the next day.
So where do you fall on the avocado issue? What do you put in your guacamole?
10 replies on “All Avocado All the Time”
I’m new to the avocado world, but I’m already hooked! Do you have a recommendation for the best type of avocado for guac, as well as which type is best for slicing and adding to sandwiches? Haas seemed to work well for guac, but whatever I tried next (I forget the name) was not good at all.
P.S. Thanks for the tip about storing the seed with the leftovers.
I love guacamole! I love avocados more than just guacamole, though, and didn’t realize it until I studied abroad in Chile where they put avocado on everything.
Recently, I found this song about guacamole. I’d like to dedicate it to all those avocado lovers out there.
Ugh, my neighborhood grocery was selling avocados for $2.50 a piece yesterday! Damn you, Boston!! I want to eat all avocados all the time, too!!!
I luhrve avocado! For some unfathomable reason, I don’t think I’ve ever made guacamole – this must be corrected immediately. I am making an avocado and veggie bacon pizza today, though. And I really love including sauteed avocado in omelets!
I love guacamole, too. My recipe is almost exactly like yours! I do add jalapeno, and occasionally green onions (I put them in everything). I usually leave the tomatoes off, too. Adding a little olive oil to your guac will make it extra creamy and delicious. I’ve also gone italian style and used parsley and basil instead of cilantro, and added sundrieds – it’s really good.
I add avocados and guac to any sandwich I make. It’s like an additional condiment I can’t do without. I love avocados in salads, and here’s the best one:
For breakfast, scramble some eggs however you do it, add a little cheese, and right before serving, top with diced avocado. It is so good. I mean, seriously amazing and delicious. Something about the two together and their different kinds of protein is just out of this world.
I just cut the avocado in half and eat it with a spoon. I’m that lazy.
I do the same sort of VBLT, only with smoked tofu rather than veggie bacon (fakeon?). That and as an addition to spinach salad with sunflower seeds and some sort of aggregate fruit (<– I am learning).
Additional delicious things to add: Cumin. Cumin in everything. Until your sweat smells like cumin. Also, Sriracha (or as it is affectionally called in my house ‘cock sauce’ &/or ‘rooster juice’). I’ve switched over to using organic, non-irradiated spices and now, because the spices are so dang good, I even sometimes use curry in my guac or salsa fresca.
I love guacamole. One of my favorite summer dinners is a mashed avocado with a bit of lime and pepper (that’s it, no onion or garlic or anything needed) and I just eat that sucker with a fork. Great for those nights when it’s so hot you feel like you can’t eat.
I just made guacamole last night! My recipe is pretty much like yours, with the addition of tomato and a bit of very finely chopped jalapeno. Also I do mine chunky.
Guacamole is good on pita chips too, if you are smart like me and forget to buy tortilla chips.