It is hard to praise guacamole sufficiently. Beautiful, loaded with delicious and healthy fats, guacamole goes with almost everything.  Unfortunately, most commercially purchased guacamole is, well, depressing. I really prefer to make my own guacamole, and I think that most people would do it if they could overcome a vague guacamole anxiety.

Guacamole is, at its core, a pesto–a paste produced by pounding ingredients. Today, the vast bulk of pestos are produced by a machine. I think this is why the vast bulk of pestos are inherently disappointing. Gentler treatment (low heat, slow process) to me protects the ingredients found in a pesto.

Now, I am also keenly aware that many people see guacamole as a political issue. I have been informed, quite stiffly, that guacamole has rules; standards. I have no interest in the politics of guacamole. Rather, I like making guacamole, and eating it. If this guacamole violates a rule that you have, I invite you to break the rules.

Ingredients: garlic (2-3 cloves), sea salt (1-2 tsp), cilantro (a big bunch), lime (zest and juice of 1), avocados (as many as you can reasonably eat, perhaps 3-4), 1 tomato that actually has a flavor (heirlooms are best, but hot-house tomatoes are acceptable if they are aromatic) ground cumin (1-2 tsp), red pepper (1 tsp).

Method: Mince the garlic cloves. Using a fork, mash the garlic with the sea salt to begin to break the garlic down and to soften its flavor. Finely chop the zest of one lime and the cilantro into the garlic paste. Add the cumin and red pepper flakes, chopping to incorporate the spices into the paste. Dice the tomato. Put the chopped tomato into a bowl, and add the garlic-lime zest-cilantro-cumin-red pepper paste. To this, add the juice of one lime and stir to make a slurry. Peel and coarsely chop the avocados. Adding the tomato slurry, begin to blend the mixture together with a fork. Put the resulting paste into a bowl, and serve.

Storage: Like most pestos, guacamole has a limited shelf-life, and is really best consumed the moment after it is made. If you must store it, store it under plastic wrap–pressing the wrap against the surface of the guacamole to try to keep oxygen away from the pesto. Assuming that you added enough lime and salt, you should be able to keep the guacamole for a day in a refrigerator.






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