Avocado Salad (aka Guacamole)

I am not ashamed to be a fully paid up member of the avocado toast club.  It features as one of my meals multiple times a week for either breakfast, lunch or dinner on top notch sourdough or toasted rye bread, with possibly eggs/sliced tomato/drowning in spinach leaves.....I think you get the picture.

But mushed avocado featured heavily in my culinary life long before the toast craze.  It was with me through countless late University evenings in Upstate NY alongside beer, chips and salsa and for many years after graduation.  Guacamole has basically remained a principle condiment to most of my comfort meals for as long as I can remember.

David Tanis is responsible for taking my guacamole to another level of greatness.  Ranking highly on my food heroes list and with a clear and uncomplicated approach to assembling a meal, this ex Chez Panisse chef and gifted food writer has influenced me almost more than anyone else.  His books and articles have encouraged me to drown out the noise, and forced me to concentrate on the flavours and colours at hand, simplifying each dish to make them sing rather than morphing into elaborate, fussy recipes where flavours are lost.

David's recipe for this avocado salad is hidden in his gem of a book A Platter of Figs and Other Stories (a must if you don't already own it). He includes it as a condiment for fish tacos (possibly one of the the most popular meals in this house),  but this version of mushed avocado is superior to any other over zealous guacamole around.  Granted it is not technically the original Mexican dip, but I can live with the adaption (and probably why the word guacamole does not feature anywhere in the original recipe).

I especially love this version as it minimises all faff.  No peeling tomatoes, chopping onions or numerous ingredients.  David is right.  A good avocado really needs nothing more than a little lime and a good pinch of salt.  And if you really want to jazz it up, throw in some spring onions and my addition, a little hot sauce.

Now that we are in full bbq season swing, ditch the toast, rinse a bunch of beautiful radishes (my favourite accompaniment), mush some ripe avocados and dip away.

Guacamole

Adapted very slightly from David Tanis A Platter of Figs and Other Stories

I always like to have a few extra limes on hand just in case it needs a little extra.  You can always use the leftovers in the cocktail you will be making to sip while you dip

4-5 ripe avocados

2-3 limes (depending on their juiciness)

2 spring onions, thinly sliced white and green parts (optional but I love them)

a good pinch of salt

a few dashes of your favourite hot sauce (optional for you but necessary for me)

Halve the avocados and spoon out the soft flesh into a bowl

Roll the limes (make sure they are not straight of the fridge) to help extract the juice, and cut in half.

Squeeze the juice of 2 limes to start (you can always add more at the end) and sprinkle over the salt and sliced spring onions.

Mush all together with a wooden spoon.  This does not need to be smooth.  I love the texture of a few larger avocado chunks on my tortilla chip, hiding in my fish taco, or dangling off the end of a radish.

Sprinkle over a few drops of hot sauce if you are using and taste.  Add more salt or lime if necessary.

Dip away!