I’ve been eating this nonstop for a few weeks now, and it occurred to me that many of you may like it as much as I do. ‘Tis the season to dive headlong into as many avocados as you can find, because they are buttery and scrumptious, and oh so good for you. Even their fat is good for you. Avocados are fabulous, but let’s be honest; the have quite a few calories, and sometimes you just don’t want to care about that.
Enter this particular version of guacamole. I should credit my refrigerator with the recipe, because I made it based on a bunch of leftovers I had hanging out in there. It’s a pretty standard guacamole, but it has one big, bright addition: cucumber. Which, as it turns out, is astoundingly good in guacamole. It’s juicy where avocado is creamy, and adds the slightest bit of crunch and pop to your dip. Not to mention how well it works in with standard guacamole ingredients like jalapeno, lime, and cilantro. The result is a very fresh, lower-calorie-per-serving guacamole, and the cucumber bulks up the whole thing so much that you spend way less making large party-sized batches of it.
It’s pretty versatile this way, as well. You can eat it with chips, sure, but you can also throw it on some white fish, let it hang out in some vegetarian tacos, do whatever with it. If you add enough cucumber to it, you can just eat it with a fork like an avocado/cucumber salad. I had it like that for lunch today, and it was perfect, because I never, not one time, felt like I was eating dip with a fork. Always a plus.
This is not a groundbreaking recipe, and I know it, but I leave for vacation in one week. I’ll be in a near-constant state of checklist-making until then, because I can never seem to go anywhere without being surrounded by lined Post-Its proclaiming all the things I need to do/pack/write/formulate before I leave. I have to meet another deadline for Feast before I leave town, which is proving to be more difficult than expected. I’ll say this: thank goodness I’ve cooked myself ahead a little bit in terms of posts, or you’d be getting a recipe for toast later this week. Just saying.
- 2 large avocados (or 3-4 small ones; you know how avocados are with their size variance), ripe, cut into 1-inch cubes or thereabouts (save the pit!)
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 cucumber, cut lengthwise into quarters and then sliced into 1/4 inch pieces (I like hothouse cucumbers best, but use your favorite here)
- 1/2 cup sweet yellow onion, diced
- 1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup pickled jalapeno, roughly chopped
- sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
*This is another recipe where I’m giving you these measurements as a guideline for what I did rather than something you need to strictly adhere to. Make this however you want, and adjust the quantities and ingredients as needed. Use small-diced fresh jalapeno if you want, add more lime, substitute a lemon for the lime, sub out the sweet onion for scallions, whatever.
note: I don’t use a metal bowl for guacamole. Call it superstition, and I should find out if there’s a legitimate scientific reason for this, but I feel like my avocados brown faster in metal. I like a Pyrex glass bowl or a plastic bowl for this.
While we’re on the subject of superstition, I firmly believe (because I have seen it in action) that the avocado pits keep things from browning like avocados tend to do. I know some of you will roll your eyes and say I’m nuts, but here’s what: the pit thing doesn’t work if your guacamole isn’t stored in a completely airtight container. If your guacamole turns brown quickly even with the pit nestled into it, it’s probably because you covered that bowl with plastic wrap, which is not at all the fault of nature. Cynics. Airtight container + avocado pit = science.
In a large bowl, add the avocados and mash them with a fork to desired consistency, keeping in mind that they’ll break down bit more as you add everything else. Squeeze the lime over the avocado and stir together. At this point, I season things a bit with salt and pepper just to get a baseline.
Add the cucumber, yellow onion, cilantro, and jalapeno, stirring with a folding motion to incorporate. No need to be gentle here; just focus on ingredient distribution. Season again with salt and pepper, and remember that this will need about an hour or so for the flavors to get together; don’t overcompensate.
Store in the refrigerator, tightly covered in an airtight container with one of the avocado pits nestled into it like a robin’s egg in a nest, for an hour to allow the flavors to meld. Serve immediately.
Leftovers? I wouldn’t make this more than a few hours ahead for a party, but there’s nothing wrong with eating the rest of it by yourself the next day. It is at its best the day you make it, and even more at its best within a few hours of throwing together.