I’ve never understood why people buy pre-made guacamole. The store-bought stuff ranges from barely ok to green glue. The real thing takes all of five minutes to make and tastes spectacular. I’ll show you how. I usually make a four-avocado batch and it is just enough to satisfy four adults and a couple of munchkins, so you can tell how popular it is at my house.
First of all, what goes in to great guacamole? Rich, sweet, unctuous avocado set off by bright lime juice, a little sharp bite of garlic and onion, herbacious cilantro and of course a bit of salt is all it takes. If you want to gild the lily with tomato or jalapeno, that can be nice too.
The avocados have to be ripe, and they have to be Hass. Those big, tempting looking, smooth-skinned California avocados have zero flavor. There might be other varieties that taste as good as Hass but I haven’t had them.
You can tell if an avocado is ripe if it gives under gentle pressure from the pad of your thumb. If the skin is wrinkly and looks like it has voids underneath, it is probably starting to rot. If you open one up and have any doubts, taste it first – and just chuck it if it isn’t right. You can’t make good guacamole from bad avocados.
To extract the flesh of the avocado, first carefully run your knife all the way around the pit vertically and then twist to separate the halves. Again carefully gouge the corner of the knife near your hand a little way into the pit and twist a little to remove it. Now just use a big spoon to scoop out the flesh.
Guacamole tastes best freshly made, but you can hold it for a few hours in the refrigerator and it will still be great. Just press plastic wrap right down on the surface to avoid unsightly oxidation.
Recipe: Great Guacamole in Five Minutes
Try this super simple recipe for great guacamole.
- 4 ripe Hass avocados
- 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 small handful cilantro leaves, lightly chopped
- 1/4 cup finely diced white onion
- Juice of 1 lime
- Pinch of cumin (optional)
- Extract the avocado flesh into a medium bowl as described above.
- Add all of the other ingredients, including 1 teaspoon of salt.
- Mash and mix lightly. I prefer a potato masher but the back of a big fork works well too.
- Taste and add salt and more lime juice if needed.