Avocado is one of my favourite fruit. It is also aptly known as the butter pear because its flesh bears a buttery quality and the fruit resembles a pear with thick and dark bumpy skin. I was introduced to this peculiar looking fruit as a child and could not really appreciate its taste nor could I understand why Mum waxed lyrical about it. But now, I eat it almost everyday in summer when it is in abundance; on toast with Vegemite for breakfast, in a multigrain roll with sprouts for lunch and in a salad for dinner. I absolutely adore eating avocados!
There are many ways to test avocados for ripeness. The colour, depending on the type of avocado, is often a good indication. Hass avocados, for example, turn from green to a purplish-black hue when ripe. Fuertes, on the other hand, remain fairly green when ripe. In any case, please refrain from pressing down too firmly on the fruit with your fingertips. This often bruises the fruit leaving dark unsightly blotches in its gold-green flesh. I like to press down on its "button" (the stalk) and the base of the fruit with my thumb and middle finger (at the same time). If the fruit is slightly yielding when pressure is applied, it is ripe and ready to eat.
I thought of including a recipe for a quick guacamole here because I think it is a simple and appetising way of presenting the fruit. I find few restaurants can get it right because they are too cheap to use the genuine stuff, often replacing it with frozen avocado puree to cut down their food cost. Appalling, I know, but it happens. Its not difficult to make great guacamole. You just need to be generous with your pennies and get your hands on some ripe avocados.
So here is what you'll need to do to make one of my favourite dips in less than 10 minutes:
- Dice 1 large ripe tomato
- Mash a small clove of garlic
- Dice 1/2 small red onion (please do not be tempted to replace this with brown onion - red onion has a sweeter pungency that is more suited to this dish)
- Chop 1 tablespoon of fresh coriander
- Grate the zest of 1 large lime
- Juice the lime after zesting
- Roughly chop the flesh of 2 large ripe avocados
- Mix all the above
- Add salt and a pinch of cayenne to taste
- Mix again
Since we didn't have any corn chips in the cupboard, Mum and I ate the guacamole with some tortilla chips we made by simply brushing some olive oil over a few leftover tortillas, sprinkling chopped parsley, paprika, cumin and asiago cheese on top, cutting them into wedges and drying them out in the oven until crisp.
Word of warning, this combination makes an incredibly more-ish snack!