The Azteks thought they knew a lot of things. They thought they knew that chocolate is amazing, they thought they knew that squashed avocados are wonderful, and they thought they knew the world would end in 2012. Well, it turns out they got two out of three things right. Chocolate is amazing, and so are squashed avocados (i.e guacamole). And because they were wrong about the end of the world, humanity is still here to enjoy the goodness that is guacamole with basil.
The word derives from āhuacamolli, from the Aztec dialect Nahuatl. The word literally translates to “avocado sauce”, so it’s safe to guess that the main ingredient of āhuacamolli was avocado. Yet to this time, people talk about how much basil, oil and other ingredients that are needed, when the great question remains: how do you select the perfectly ripe avocado fruit? Once you’ve mastered that art, the rest is as easy as pie. Or as easy as guacamole.
There are as many recipes as there are cooks. The very basic recipe is to coarsely mash avocados, season them with salt and the result is per definition guacamole. Some like adding lime and coriander, others want garlic and tomatoes. Even onions. I prefer lemon and fresh basil. It enhances the flavors of the avocado. Some garlic with that, and it’s complete.
1. Pick up an avocado.
2. Gently push the little “button” (the stem).
3. If the button doesn’t easily push into the avocado, it’s not ripe. If it does, it’s perfect.
The good thing about this method is not only that it will help you pick the perfectly ripe fruits. If spread to every single person in the world, it will also make sure that people don’t squash the avocados stacked there in the grocery store. When 100 people take turns to squeeze the avocados, to see if their soft, they do become soft. Not because they’re ripe, but because they’ve been bruised by being squeezed over and over again. Maybe you are an adept of the visual method; looking at the color to check the shades of green and black. Not very efficient, the nuances of color will only help you to distinguish between “way too hard, “maybe ok” and “way too soft”. My solution works every time, and it’s as easy as falling of a log. Pushing “the button” does one out of two things. It either tells you it’s ripe, whereas you take it. Or it tells you it’s not, whereas you put it back without having inflicted any damage to the fruit.
Eating a ripe avocado as is, with a little salt and perhaps some lemon juice, is an excellent treat. However, if you’re looking to make a guacamole, and you’re searching for the perfect recipe, look no more. I have it for you right here.
Time it takes:
- 30 seconds picking two perfect avocados
- 5 minutes of preparation
Picking the perfect avocados:
Easy! Look at the instructions in the beginning of the article!
Make your guacamole with basil:
- 2 perfectly ripe avocados
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- 3 cloves of garlic
- fresh green basil leaves
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- Scoop the soft avocado flesh into a blender.
- Add the juice of half a lemon, the cloves of garlic, the green basil leaves, the olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Beside the nice acidic pinch, the lemon juice will keep your guacamole green. Without it, your avocados would quickly turn brownish in color. Not very appetizing.
- Blend to your liking. A smooth creamy paste, or perhaps a chunky rustic version? Because I can never make up my mind in advance, I chop up the garlic before putting it in the blender. By doing so, I know that no matter how chunky or smooth I choose to make my guacamole with basil, there will never be a big piece of raw garlic laying inside waiting for someone to bite into it.
One of many things that are amazing with guacamole (e.g healthy, looks great, tastes great) is that it can be varied a lot, and it can be used in so many dishes. You can add pieces of tomatoes, chili, onions, mustard, sour cream, or yogurt, to get different textures and flavor combinations. You can obviously dip tortillas, chips, or even shrimps in your guacamole. You can also mix it with mayonnaise to make original eggs mimosa. Or why not dress a hamburger with guacamole? Then there’s the simple but tasty pasta sauce of guacamole with basil, plus parmesan and maybe red basil. It is delicious!