Food is inherently social. We go out for meals with friends. We celebrate birthdays and good news and reunions with treats. Food is social even when there are times that I want something all to myself, because I am somehow aware of the fact that someone may want to share it with me. This guacamole is one of those things, in that a) it’s so good, I sometimes want it all to myself and b) it reminds me of many important, lovely people.
I used to try to make my guacamole more authentically (i.e., with cilantro, jalapeno, red onion, and tomato), but we can blame college for this new, addictive spin. I could tell you that adding red bell pepper in place of the authentic ingredients was an act of divine inspiration or the result of my superior palate. In reality, red bell pepper was the only ingredient my college roommate and I had on hand when we decided to create some makeshift guacamole. And believe me, that stuff was makeshift. We also did not have any limes or lemons on hand, and therefore substituted orange juice to prevent the avocado from browning. I am positive that, if I were to taste the Frankenguac we creatively invented that night, I would be mildly appalled.
But without that night, I would never have thought to add red bell pepper to my amazing guacamole recipe. It provides perfectly juicy, crunchy bursts to contrast the garlicky smooth avocado. And it reminds me of my darling roommate, and all the people I have since shared this recipe with. I think fondly of all these wonderful folks while I curl up on the couch with this stuff and a bowl of blue corn chips. And the nice thing about eating and thinking about the lovely people this guacamole reminds me of is that I only have to share if I’m feeling charitable.
Garlicky Guacamole with Red Bell Pepper
2 soft Hass avocados*, pitted with shell removed
2 large cloves of fresh garlic, minced
juice of half a lime
sea salt, to taste
½ cup red bell pepper, diced
blue corn tortilla chips
- Use a fork to mash up the avocados with the garlic and lime juice.
- Season to taste with sea salt (Pro tip: I like to taste test at this point with a chip and adjust the salt/lime juice from there).
- Stir in bell pepper.
- Sprinkle with additional sea salt to garnish.
- Serve immediately with blue corn chips. If you have any left over, store in an airtight container and refrigerate immediately (beware, though—avocado turns brown fast!).
*How to tell if your avocado is ripe: First, the shell should be dark in color. Second, the avocado should be soft, but still somewhat firm, and it should give a little when you not-too-forcefully push on it with your fingers. Beware of air pockets, though—it may mean your avocado has started going downhill.