Lauren’s Famous Guacamole

Beginning at about age 4, my daughter, Lauren, became the guacamole maker in our house. She basically followed my recipe but added a few of her own touches. In fact, when my friend Steve Steinberg turned 50, his wife, Nancy, requested that Lauren make the guacamole for his surprise party; she went through a whole case of avocados. It isn’t surprising that she no longer enjoys making it.
Be sure to buy avocados well ahead of when you want them; you can surely find them rip;e in the supermarket. To hasten the ripening process, place the avocado in a paper bag with an apple or a banana; it’s ready when you can push it in slightly. If it’s already ripe enough, simple refrigerate it; it won’t continue to ripen in the fridge.
This guacamole is also great in sandwiches and omelets and on burgers.

Makes about 1½ cups.

2 perfectly ripe Haas avocados, peeled, pitted, and coarsely chopped
½ small beefsteak tomato, coarsely chopped
2 scallions (white and green parts), chopped
¼ to ⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, to your taste
Pinch of cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
¼ to ½ fresh jalapeño or canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce (optional), finely minced
5 springs fresh cilantro for garnish
2 very thin slices lime for garnish

1. Place everything except the cilantro sprigs and lime slices in a mediums size mixing bowl and toss gently to mix. Do not overmix; it should be somewhat chunky.

2. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately, garnished with the cilantro sprigs ad lime slices, or place a few avocado pits in the guacamole (to prevent discoloration), cover, and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.

Serve with tortilla or pita chips, warmed pita triangles, or endive spears.

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