I don’t think that the avocado was, for me, a love-at-first-bite kind of thing, but wow, times have changed. These days I find it hard hard to resist the nutty flavor of avocado flesh; it can be eaten with just a squirt of lime and a sprinkle of salt, used as a topping for soups and salads, or used as a backdrop in different guacamoles and salsas.
This interpretation of guacamole—with a bit of spark and smoke from chipotles, sweet from the grapes, and crunch from the nuts—is a crowd pleaser, and perfect as a kick-off treat for your spring or summertime barbecues. For a larger crowd, this recipe is super simple to multiply. (By the way, to make chipotle purée, you can buy a can of chipotles en adobo in any Latin market—or section of a market—and purée them in a blender. This will keep for up to 6 weeks, or beyond, in the fridge—and adds a nice smoky flavor to sauces—and even mayonnaise.)
Serve this guacamole with a bowl of your favorite tortilla chips, and ice-cold beer or fruit-filled sangría.
The recipe, after the jump.
Guacamole with Grapes and Toasted Nuts
Adapted from Mambo Mixers, by Arlen Gargagliano, ©2005
Stewart, Tabori & Chang
Makes about 2 cups
2 ripe Hass avocados, peeled, pitted, and coarsely chopped
1 small shallot or 1/2 a red onion, finely diced
Juice of 1/2 lime, plus more as desired
1/2 teaspoon chipotle purée (or more—according to taste)
15 to 20 seedless red grapes, halved
1/3 cup toasted pecans (or walnuts) coarsely chopped
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
In a large bowl, combine the avocados, red onion, and lime juice. Stir in the chipotle purée and grapes, but don’t mix it too much or the avocados will get mushy. At this point, you may want to refrigerate the guacamole (with the avocado pit, so the browning is lessened). Just before serving, remove the pit, stir to mix. Add another squirt of fresh lime juice, and then the toasted pecans, salt and pepper, and cilantro.