Ripe avocados, a squeeze of lime, a good dash of salt.
That's all you need to make guacamole in its most #basic form. But Cinco de Mayo is mere hours away, and we couldn't live with ourselves if we didn't expound on everyone's favorite dip—especially considering mashed avocado is essentially a blank canvas for all sorts of add-ins and textures.
You do still need that salt, and some acid, to counteract the avocado's creamy richness, but these five variations are packed with surprising ingredients and flavors (fish sauce, yuzu kosho, spring veg). Just grab some tortilla chips—or whichever guac-to-mouth vehicle you prefer—and get dunking.
4 avocados, pitted + 1 tbsp fresh lime juice + salt + ½ c sour cream + 2 tbsp chopped cilantro + 1 garlic clove, chopped + 2 tbsp olive oil
In a blender, purée all the ingredients until smooth. (Note: Because of its ultra-silky texture, this version is ideal for spreading onto sandwiches or dolloping onto roast fish.)
4 avocados, pitted + 1 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces + 1 tbsp fresh lime juice + 2 radishes, thinly sliced + 3 tbsp chopped tarragon + salt
Build an ice bath. Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook until crisp but tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the asparagus and shock in the ice bath. Drain and set aside.
In a mortar or large bowl, smash the avocado using a pestle or the back of a fork. Stir in the lime juice, cooked asparagus, radishes and tarragon. Season with salt and serve.
4 avocados, pitted + 1 med red onion, halved + 2 jalapeños + 1 tbsp fresh lime juice + ½ tsp cumin seeds, toasted and lightly crushed + salt + olive oil, for brushing
Prepare a grill for medium-hot cooking or place a grill pan over medium-high heat. Using a pastry brush, brush the avocado halves and onion halves with olive oil, then oil the grill grates or grill pan. Place the avocados, flesh-side down, onions and jalapeños on the grill and cook until lightly charred, 2 to 3 minutes for the avocado, 6 to 8 minutes for the jalapeños, 10 to 12 minutes for the red onion.
Scoop out the avocado. Finely chop the onion and jalapeños. Mash the avocado, then combine it with the chopped vegetables, lime juice and cumin seeds. Season with salt and serve.
2 tsp fresh lime juice + 2 Thai chiles, minced + 2 tsp yuzu koshu + 2 tbsp hot sauce + 2 tbsp olive oil + 4 avocados, pitted + salt
In a mortar or large bowl, mash together the lime juice, chiles, yuzu koshu, hot sauce and olive oil. Add the avocado and using a pestle or the back of a fork, smash the avocado into the chile-lime mixture. Season with salt and serve.
4 avocados, pitted + 1 tbsp fresh lime juice + ½ c diced mango + ½ c diced pineapple + ¼ c basil, chopped + 2 tsp fish sauce + salt
In a mortar or large bowl, smash the avocado using a pestle or the back of a fork. Stir in the lime juice, mango, pineapple, basil and fish sauce. Season with salt and serve.
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