Creamy Avocado Dip with Mint and Basil

Although I’m a huge, huge fan of guacamole, I still wanted an avocado dip that was lighter and, well, just different. This one is creamy and mild, unless, of course, you choose to add some cayenne, chipotle, or hot sauce. This also happens to be sensational drizzled on grilled steak, stuffed into omelets, or substituted for mayonnaise in cheese and tomato sandwiches.

Makes about 2 cups.

4 very ripe avocados, pitted, peeled, and mashed
1 heaping tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
2 tablespoons heavy cream
½ to 1 tablespoon kosher salt, to your taste
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or chipotle chile powder, to your taste (optional)
½ to 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce, to your taste (optional)

1. Place everything in a medium-size bowl and mash together well.

2. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately, garnished with chopped basil, or cover and refrigerate for no more than 1 hour before serving, as the avocado will begin to discolor.

Serve with endive spears, red bell pepper strips, or tortilla chips.

From Party Dips! 50 Zippy, Zesty, Spicy, Savory, Tasty, Tempting Dips (The Harvard Common Press, 2004)