Guacamole, Hold the Peas

Leave it to the New York Times to over complicate an already perfect dish. Ripe avocados, lime juice, tomato, onion, some form of spicy pepper, salt. A carefully calibrated balance of texture, barely there sweetness, tartness, heat and salt.

Simple, balanced, satisfying.

Until you add peas… Wait, peas? No. No to the New York Times, Melissa Clark, and ABC CocinaI’m not trusting you on this. I’ll take my peas with my scrambled eggs in the morning, not in a Green Pea Guacamole, thank you very much. I’ll stick to the guacamole I grew up with, or a few other variations I’m fond of. No peas, no sunflower seeds. Also no to peaches, no to pomegranate seeds. There is more than enough fruit in this dish for me.

Guacamole, hold the peas please.
Guacamole, hold the peas please.
  • Guacamole
  • Serves 4 as an appetizer
  • 3 to 4 large ripe avocados
  • 1 medium sized tomato
  • 1/2 a small white or red onion
  • 1 or 2 Anaheim chile (chile verde)
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 or 2 limes
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt, or to taste

How to pick ripe avocados: don’t believe those “ripe now” labels at the store. Those avocados are often either still rock hard or far too ripe and mushy to be of any good to you. A ripe avocado should have the same feel as a ripe peach, firm, with a slight bit of give to it, without any divots.

Roast the chile on the grill or in a broiler to just brown the skin. Once browned on all sides place in a bowl and cover with a kitchen towel, allowing it to rest until cool to the touch. Chop the onion finely, place in a small non-reactive bowl and squeeze juice of one lime over it; the acid of the lime juice will get some of sharpness out of the onion, but this step may be skipped if the taste of raw onions does not bother you. Cut the tomato to approximately 1/4″ dice, allowing any particularly juicy bits of the flesh to drain if necessary. Clean the chile by removing the skin, stems and seeds, cutting to 1/4″ dice. Finely chop two to three tablespoons of loosely packed cilantro, stems included.

Cut the avocados in half and remove the pit with the heel of a kitchen knife. Scoop out the avocado flesh into a bowl with a large spoon, and mash it lightly with a fork or a potato masher until chunks no bigger than a dime remain. Add the onions, along with their lime juice, tomato, cilantro, salt, and chile. Be sure to taste the chile before adding all of it to the guacamole, as they vary greatly in spiciness from one chile to another. Fold into the mashed avocado until well incorporated.  Check for seasoning, adjusting as necessary.

Eat it quickly.

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