Jon's Famous Guacamole

Short Form


Cut end off of bud of garlic, sprinkle in sesame oil, wrap tightly in aluminum foil. Roast 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Mash avocados with fork. Add seasonings and garlic. Mix well. Serve warm.

Long Form

My guacamole is famous throughout the Jewish community in Seattle. It isn't hard to make but there is a lot to know. Here is a breakdown of everything you need to know to make, serve, and store great guacamole.

Guacamole is party food, not for everyday use. Avocado may technically be a fruit but it is very fatty with loads of calories. It's easy to get carried away, thanks of course to my delicious recipe! :-) But don't overdo or you'll spend many hours on the treadmill compensating, plus the garlic will sweat out into your clothes and make you a bit unpopular for a while.

Buying Avocados

Ripe avocados are soft, softer then most other ripe fruits and vegetables. They are overripe only if they are completely mushy. Unripe avocados can take over a week to ripen, and sometimes spoil before they ripen at all. Start watching for avocados a week before your party, but don't buy really ripe ones unless you will prepare them immediately. Sometimes you can't get ripe avocados when you need them, in which case you'll just have to make something else.

Only buy the small dark-green avocados, which are usually labeled as Haas avocados. They usually cost $1-$1.50 each, much more for organic. The giant light-green avocados are much cheaper per pound but don't taste right.

Pick out a bud of garlic with no obvious bruises or spoilage, and whose papery wrapping is unbroken. Garlic should be fresh and not ripe.

Preparing Guacamole

Prepare the garlic first. Raw garlic is too sharp so you will want to roast it. Cut the tip off such that most of the cloves are cut open. Sprinkle a few drops of sesame oil into and between the cloves, then wrap tightly in aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for at least an hour. Meanwhile, you can prepare the avocados. After the bud of garlic cools off, you should be able to squeeze out the garlic with your hands, although you can use a garlic press if you want. This is a lot of garlic; although baking it does reduce the bad-breath factor; you'll find out whether the people at your party are really your friends!

Cut the avocados in half and pry out the pits, saving one pit. Scoop out the meat with a spoon. If the avocados are very ripe, there may be small spoiled spots; it is not necessary to discard the entire avocado, just inspect carefully and remove the spoiled areas. However, discard the avocado if the spoiled areas are large or if there is any mold. Use the last bits scraped from the inside of the skin if they are not spoiled. Unripe avocado meat is firm; ripe avocado meat is soft but not shapeless, light green and aromatic; spoiled avocado meat is dark and grainy and smelly and liquid. Like salmon, the taste and aroma of avocados does not come out when they are fresh, but only when they are ripe.

Mash the avocado meat with a fork against a cutting board, using the tip of the tines, in one direction and then crosswise. Do not use a food processor, it mashes too finely. If the avocado is unripe, the core of the avocado may be too hard to mash with a fork; discard it.

Avocado absorbs a great deal of spice, this is why it is served (without the spices I add) on the side in Mexican restaurants to cool down overheated palates. Garlic is the primary spice in my recipe, do not overdo the other spices. The lemon juice is both a spice and a preservative; if you will be serving the guacamole fresh, you may want to use less at first, then mix in a little more to help preserve the leftovers.

Serving Guacamole

Serve guacamole warm or at least at room temperature; microwave it if necessary. Cold temperature dulls the palate, and avocado meat is full of fat, so your guests should not have to eat excessive amounts of it. Serve the guacamole with a bag of salted tortilla chips, scoop up some guacamole onto a chip and enjoy. Place one pit in with the guacamole as decoration; this is also rumored to help preserve the guacamole.

Storing Guacamole

Guacamole is difficult to store. In contact with air, avocado meat discolors rapidly. This is mostly just unsightly, it tastes fine even after discoloring. However contact with air also contributes to actual spoilage. The key is to add lemon juice, eliminate contact with air, and refrigerate when not being served. Guacamole can keep up to a week when stored properly.

Store the guacamole promptly after you are finished with it. First, scrape it back from the sides of the container, and use a spoon (or a tortilla chip!) to smooth the surface. Add the pit you saved. Tamp down plastic wrap on top of the guacamole, so that none of it is in contact with air; minimize air bubbles between the plastic wrap and the guacamole. Refrigerate until it is time to serve it again.

When it is time to serve, remove the plastic wrap and microwave it so that it is not served cold. The top layer just under the plastic wrap may be discolored so you'll have to eat that bit yourself!