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The great guacamole debate: to pea or not to pea?

Who knew people cared so much about what goes into their guacamole, to the point that the suggestion of adding an ingredient for “green” purposes would create such rancor?

In a seemingly innocuous story, no doubt timed for July 4 festivities, New York Times food columnist Melissa Clark touted adding fresh peas to the picnic staple.

It seemed like a good suggestion in light of California’s drought and the gazillion gallons of water needed to grow one avocado.

Nonetheless, some cried blasphemy:

Clark quickly shifted the blame, er, credit to “farm-fresh eatery” ABC Cocina in New York City:

People started falling into different camps.

The president weighed in via his newly created Twitter account. The Splendid Table (hosted by Lynne Rosetto Kasper “for people who love to eat”) bravely sided with Clark (although they also posted a recipe for seaweed salad, so…):

Others confirmed they had a taste for it:

Clark herself noted that:

Here is the recipe that caused the brouhaha (take it with a grain of salt. Re-posting does not equal endorsement.):

Green Pea Guacamole

• ½ pound fresh sweet peas, shucked (about 1/2 to 2/3 cup peas)
• 2 small jalapeños
• 2 tablespoons packed cilantro leaves, chopped, more for garnish
• ¾ teaspoon salt, more as needed
• 3 small ripe avocados, mashed
• 2 scallions, whites only, sliced as thin as possible (about 1/4 cup)
• Zest of 1 lime
• Juice of 1 lime, more as needed
• 1 tablespoon toasted sunflower seeds
• Flaky sea salt, for serving
• Tortilla chips, for serving
• Lime wedges, for serving

1. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil and prepare a bowl with water and ice. Plunge peas into the boiling water and cook until al dente, about 1 minute. Drain peas and immediately transfer to the ice bath. Drain.

2. Heat broiler to high and broil one of the jalapeños on a heatproof pan. Cook, turning occasionally, until jalapeño is completely charred. Transfer to a small bowl, cover tightly in plastic wrap and let sit for 15 minutes. When cool enough to handle, use a towel to wipe off the charred skin. Halve, seed and devein the roasted jalapeño. Then halve, seed, and mince the remaining raw jalapeño.

3. In a blender or the bowl of a food processor, purée peas (reserving 2 tablespoons for garnish) with roasted jalapeño, minced raw jalapeño, cilantro and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Process until almost smooth but still a little chunky.

4. In a medium bowl, combine mashed avocado, scallions, lime zest, lime juice, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pea purée. Adjust salt and lime juice as needed and garnish with fresh peas, sunflower seeds and flaky sea salt. Serve with tortilla chips and lime wedges.

View the full recipe on ABC Cocina chef Jean-Georges’ website.

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