I can’t be the only one around who is loathe to slave over a stove on a hot summery day. Aside from the heat, our evenings also have to contend with a plethora of activities that are way more attractive than turning on the range. The hot days of late are the kinds of days where I wish my cat had opposable thumbs so that she could cook for me, so that I could maximize time spent having fun.
It’s in the summer that my Asian body can process foods eaten raw, and so I take full advantage of the ripe produce that come from near and afar.
And here is where I confess that sometimes, once in a while, I am grateful for globalization. One of the those weak moments come when avocados come in season and I can buy them cheap and just ripe from the store. I love their colour gradient that goes from bright green near the skin to chick yellow in the centre. I love that the seed is perfectly round, and will take root if you let it. (I planted an avocado seed 3 years ago and today it is as tall as me!) I love the spreadable texture, and the indescribable taste.
When you pick avocados, look for one with dark pitted skin. The colour of the skin is an indicator for ripeness – the greener it is, the newer. Press down on the avocado with a finger to feel for ripeness too. If it depresses slightly, you have a perfect avocado. You don’t want it if it’s too easy to push down (too mushy), and if you want to eat it right away, don’t grab one that’s rock hard!
To have them ripen at home, a mentor from work taught me to leave them out of the fridge with other fruits. But as soon as they are ripe enough, all you have to do to keep it from becoming too mushy or worse, rot, is just to stick it in the fridge. I have taken her advice to heart and ended up with perfect avocados all the time.
One of my favourite ways to enjoy avocado is making it into guacamole. Typically, store bought or restaurant guacamole will contain a lot of garlic and sometimes onion, and other ingredients such as preservatives. But I find that this interferes with the special taste of the fruit (plus I can’t eat alliums anyway). To me, simple always triumphs, and this easy, fast, and ultimately delicious guacamole recipe goes back to the basics.
You can use it with chips, in a burrito, or, served on a piece of toast with a slice of tomato and a poached egg. I am proud to say that this recipe converted someone who hated avocado!
- 2 ripe avocados, diced into small pieces
- Juice of 1 lime
- ¼ to ½ tsp of sea salt
- Bunch of cilantro, minced
Mix all of the above in a bowl and mash with a fork. Makes one and a half cup. Can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days and it will not brown!
p.s. We ate it all so fast we forgot to take photos!