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Awake at the Whisk: Basil Guacamole

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Basil Guacamole

Sacramento summers are too hot for cilantro. Mine grows beautifully all winter long, but past spring, it wilts and fizzles in our heat. Basil, the wonderful, spicy herb that I adore, however, loves the heat. Since avocados and tomatoes are fresh at the farmers’ market, and I was craving guacamole, I thought I’d experiment and substitute basil for cilantro.

Winner! I actually liked this more than the original version. I used a hybrid basil that volunteered itself in my garden this year. It’s a blend between cinnamon and Italian basil, so it’s got an extra bite and sweetness. Stirred into the guacamole, it sent bright bursts through every morsel. Hello, new friend!

Basil Guacamole

2 avocados, peeled and seeded
1 small tomato (I prefer Brandywine), diced
1 tiny red onion, diced (I used the baby-sized onions from my garden—about the size of a tea bag)
Juice from one lime (don’t skimp here—this stuff makes a delightful tang that enhances the whole dish)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons hot sauce
2 Tablespoons basil, julienned (chopped finely)

Mash the avocado with a fork. Add the remaining ingredients and stir together. Serve with organic blue corn tortilla chips. Or, eat by the spoonfuls.

Serves 2 as a light appetizer. If you’re hungry, double up!

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