“On the menu” this week I used the versatile avocado to make a version of guacamole that I found in one of my cookbooks: from our restaurant’s kitchen, a recipe collection from FORK, a beautiful restaurant in Philadelphia, and one of the first places my husband and I went on a date (the strip club in college didn’t count as a date, Rob). This is an Avocado Citrus Salsa, or as I like to call it ¡Salsa Guacamole! I think by this point we all know the benefits of the amazing avocado: vitamins and minerals galore, plus it’s a healthy fat. BOOM. I used to dislike the almighty avocado for its creamy texture, likening it to mayonnaise and such (ew, gross). However, since moving to Southern California, I have incorporated the avo into almost any meal type- breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I still don’t particularly enjoy the avocado as a standalone fruit (yes, it’s a fruit, did you know that? Did you know that it is also known as the “alligator pear”? I sure didn’t!); I prefer to add it as an ingredient to salads, or spread it over toast like butter. This was a very easy recipe to follow, with few ingredients, bursting with fresh, fruity flavor. If you are a “traditional” guacamole nut, you may be completely horrified at this take on the staple of Mexican restaurants everywhere. But, honestly, a salsa/guac COMBO?! Mind. Blown. I am one of those people that almost always scoops a little guacamole + a little salsa onto my chip. How did I never think to make this myself? I chose to skip the fatty chips, and instead use this as a compliment to my morning eggs. I think it would be absolutely amazing with shrimp, and the cookbook also suggests it as a topping for grilled fish. Versatility, that’s what I like in my food. All of the ingredients can be found at your local supermarket (no need to visit a specialty store or Whole Paychecks). I opted to spend slightly more money to buy all organic produce at Stehly’s Market, the local farm store a block away. Come to think of it, did I really spend more money? Because what I saved in time and money NOT driving probably more than makes up for it. I digress. I even shelled out for fresh squeezed pineapple juice. It smelled amazing. Like summer on the beach…This recipe will put you in a summer state of mind for sure! I cut this recipe in half. It made enough for probably 4-6 people. Shannon’s Avocado Citrus Salsa, adapted from from our restaurant’s kitchen
6 ripe avocados , peeled, pitted, and diced large 4 TBS cilantro, chopped 1 red onion, lazily diced1 orange, sectioned and diced large-ish juice of 2 lemons juice of 2 limes 1 ½ cups pineapple juice* 1 TBS garlic, chopped 1 tsp cayenne pepper 3 TBS brown sugar** 2 TBS ground cumin *I did not use all the liquid, and the Salsa Guacamole was still quite runny, so I would start with less and add more liquid as you need for the consistency you like. **Honestly, between the orange and the pineapple juice, I don’t think the brown sugar is necessary AT ALL. I also don’t use a lot of sugar in my daily life, so I may be more sensitive to the taste than you may be.
Combine the avocados, orange pieces, and lemon & lime juice in a bowl. Put everything else in a food processor (which pretty much means all the cutting, chopping, and dicing of ingredients above can be VERY sloppy!). Pulse. PULSE. Don’t turn the damn processor full on. You’re not trying to make a freaking avocado smoothie for goodness sake. You want the ingredients to still be chunky. But, you know, do whatever works for you. Keep it as chunky as you want, or don’t want. Add your processor contents to the contents of your bowl, give it a swirl with a spatula, throw some chopped cilantro over it, and voila, ¡SALSA GUACAMOLE!
-Enjoy- P.S. Don’t worry, you know all that extra juice I saved? It’s going into a fabulous tequila cocktail…