For those whose pancreases are calling out for mercy, here's a savory, cooling idea to accompany your next glass of iced tea: Italian guacamole.
It sounds blasphemous, but trust me, it's not. Remember, the Italians know about good taste- they started the Renaissance, after all. And there's nothing at all wrong with classic guacamole, but after staring at scoop after scoop at endless barbeques, you'll welcome this fresh twist. It's somehow more summery than the played-out lime-cilantro version.
I had it for dinner last night while finishing off my iced Dragonwell, and the crisp sweetness cut right through the rich, lemony flavors, enabling me to eat almost the whole bowl.
Speaking of which, if you do plan on making guacamole frequently, do yourself a favor and get a molcajete. This traditional lava-stone bowl and pestle allows you to get the best flavor out of all the ingredients, and produces that soothing, creamy-chunky texture effortlessly, every time. I got mine for Christmas a few years back, and it's one of the best gifts I've ever received- as well as the heaviest. I use it constantly, and it doubles as a weapon.
Makes: 4 servings.
Juice of one lemon
Scant teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped scallions
3 small or 2 medium ripe avocados
1 cup (loosely packed) basil leaves, chopped
Sourdough bread, sliced and toasted
1 head Belgian endive, leaves separated
2 cups sugar snap peas, trimmed
1. In molcajete or medium-sized bowl, mix and pound together lemon juice, salt, garlic and scallions. Halve avocados lengthwise and discard pits and peels. Add flesh to molcajete and mash coarsely.
2. Reserve a pinch of basil for garnish, and mix remainder into guacamole. Sprinkle garnish on top.
3. Serve immediately with bread and vegetables, or press plastic wrap directly onto surface and refrigerate for up to an hour.