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Go, go guacamole

  • Preparation - 5 mins
  • Serves 4
  • Calories per serving - 95kcal

Avocados are full of Omega 3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain function. This classic Mexican dip is a great way to add them to your diet. It’s simple to make and delicious to eat with some tortilla chips, crunchy crudités or warm pitta bread.

It’s more or less impossible to make bad guacamole – the only important thing is that the avocado itself is ripe. Then it’s just a matter of balancing the creaminess of its flesh with salt, lime juice and as much chilli heat as you like. Spring onions, garlic, fresh coriander and tomatoes add extra zing.

Method

1. Chop the spring onion, garlic and chilli as finely as you can, along with half the coriander. If you have a pestle and mortar put the pieces in the bowl, add a generous pinch of salt and pound away until a rough paste is formed. If not, combine them in the middle of your chopping board, add the salt and use the bottom of a heavy jar to give them a good squish. Put the mixture in the bottom of a medium bowl and add a squeeze of lime juice.

2. Dice the cherry tomatoes and set aside. Chop the rest of the coriander.

3. Halve the avocados lengthways and twist gently to separate the two halves. Pick out the stone.

4. Spoon the avocado flesh out into the bowl with the garlic etc. Use a fork or a whisk (try it – it works!) to mash with the flavourings until it reaches a texture you like. Some people prefer it chunky, almost like a salsa, barely mashed at all, while others like a super-smooth, puréed finish. There’s no right or wrong – it’s up to you!

5. Try the guacamole and add more salt and lime juice to taste. Gently stir through the diced tomato and sprinkle over the remaining coriander. Serve with your dipping weapon of choice – tortilla chips (see below for how to make your own), veggies or pitta bread. Avocado will go grey if exposed to the air for too long. If you’re making your guacamole in advance or saving some for later, put a layer of clingfilm or baking paper over the top.

Ingredients
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 green chilli
  • A small bunch of coriander
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • 1 lime
  • 2 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 avocados
How to make your own tortilla chips

Set your oven to 180°C. Take corn tortillas and cut them into triangular segments: 6 for small tortillas, 8 for larger ones. Arrange in a single layer on a baking tray and bake for 5 minutes or until beginning to go golden brown. Take them out and use tongs to flip each chip over. Return to the oven and give them another minute. Allow to cool then dig in!

Variations

Leave out the chilli if you don’t like heat. For those that like it hot, fresh serrano chilli is the most traditional but use whatever you can find. Scotch bonnet has a good fruity kick or a few of those pickled jalapenos that are sold in jars also work well. Add even more fire with dried chilli flakes (chipotle gives a nice smoky finish) or why not use a couple of shakes of your favourite hot sauce?

About the author

Clare Heal is a journalist-turned-chef based in north London. She runs Sycamore Smyth, a one-woman catering company and cookery school, providing good food to people who don’t want to cook and cultivating kitchen confidence in those who do.

Check out Clare’s website or Instagram.