Ok, I know. This is NOT true guacamole. Guacamole is an amazing blend of fresh avocado, lime juice and salt, with the addition of certain raw vegetables according to one’s preference and traditions. There are hundreds of variations. Some people prefer a specific type of onion, or leave the onion out altogether, and some add garlic. Some cooks insist that tomatoes do not belong in guacamole and some wouldn’t call it guacamole if it didn’t have tomatoes. Some people use hotter peppers, and some are minimalists, using simply avocados. Then there are the people who add in sour cream or their own favorite additions, or who will argue over whether the guacamole should be creamy or chunky. But nearly every guacamole recipe involves time and fine chopping or mashing, and requires that it be served immediately.
Thanks to my daughter, our family has a wonderful guacamole recipe. It involves a lot of fine dicing (usually that’s my job) and then she is the perfecter of the proper ratio of spice, saltiness, raw vegetables, and acid, mixing with precision. It must be served immediately, and it’s delicious. Fresh guacamole starts to turn an dull brown after it’s exposed to air, and the myth of keeping an avocado pit in a bowl of guacamole to preserve it is just that: a myth. A thin layer of water or olive oil will help keep leftover guacamole fresh for a short time, but the best way to deal with guacamole is to devour it completely right away! More chips! Tequila, anyone?
But since I’ve been experimenting with baked avocados lately, I wanted to try a simple roasted “guacamole”. This will not be a beautiful blended typical guacamole, but more like a rustic roasted avocado salsa. The upside of this is that it only takes seconds to prepare, and there’s no fine dicing needed. You only need to know how to pit an avocado, and how to hack a vegetable in half. Plus, since everything’s roasted, there’s no need to rush to serve it while it’s still bright green; it’s already golden brown and tender! It could be served with chips, or as a topping for tacos or fajitas or nachos.
To prepare it, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. (That’s not essential, it means you can simply toss the parchment paper and have no cleanup afterwards.)
Gather your favorite guacamole or salsa ingredients. I peeled and cut an avocado into quarters and then cut a few jalapeños, tomatoes, onions and limes in half. Make sure to use several limes. Throw everything on the baking sheet.
Feel free to add different types of hot peppers and/or garlic and use more or less of a certain ingredient, according to your taste and what’s available. Generously salt everything, and drizzle a bit of olive oil over all. Roast at about 400 degrees until it’s all golden and tender. This might take a half hour, but there’s no tending to it, no need to stir or fuss.
When it’s done, remove the limes and squeeze the juice from them over all the roasted guacamole/salsa. You can let your family or guests choose their roasted ingredients, or you can place everything on a cutting board and roughly chop and combine everything.
This photo shows what it looks like just after roasting, before chopping into more manageable pieces, with the lime still in there. It’s not beautiful, but it sure is delicious!