Our next few recipes will feature the awesome taste and goodness of the avocado, so we’re going to take a moment first to talk about why we like avocados so much, and point out a couple tricks we discovered that can help you out in the coming recipes.
First step is selection and knowing when they are ready. Trust me, you don’t want to try to peel and mash a rock-hard unripened avocado – when we first tried, even use of extreme smashing force turned out to be futile in so much as deforming the shape of a tiny cut of unripened avocado flesh. Ripe, ready-to-eat avocados are slightly soft, but without any dark sunken spots or cracks. A pear-like shape is usually an indication that it was tree ripened and will have better flavor. Firm avocados will ripen if left in a paper bag or a compostable bag at room temperature for 1 to 3 days. Intriguingly, if joined by other fruits in the bag, they will ripen quicker.
Preparation (Nick and Peel)
Cut the avocado in half lengthwise down to the pit all the way around. It may help to separate the halves, if clinging to the pit, by rotating each half in opposite directions. Remove the pit with spoon or knife tip. The easiest way to peel is to then cut each half again to make quarters, and simply peel off the skin all at once using your thumb and forefinger, like peeling a banana.
Force-ripen unripe avocados
If you messed up like we did and cut into a super unripe avocado (hey, we had 6 sitting around that we had to get through!), there is a trick that can effectively ripen the avocado by softening it up. Wrap the avocado pieces in soaked paper towels and add another cup of water on top in a bowl, and then microwave on high for two minutes. Drain and unwrap, and the pieces should be soft enough to mash, if that was your intention. In general, though, you shouldn’t cook avocado at any high heat since it breaks down a lot of the healthiest fats (more on that later!).