I love avocados, though I'm sure my hips don't thank me for that. They are (she writes in her defence) full of so-called 'good' fats and extremely good for the skin and hair if the (mainly self-appointed) experts are to be believed. Incidentally, the avocado is a fruit, not a vegetable, though much like the tomato I always think of it as the latter.
While we are all recent converts to Mexican food, I've never been particularly keen on traditional guacamole (i.e. with tomato in it) and I remain indifferent. As I have taken to adding soft cheese to this, for a milder flavour and to lighten the calorific load, this has no business calling itself 'guacamole', nor would I presume to do so. I feel that the food I cook must have some integrity, however silly that may seem. Avocado Dip it is.
I usually serve this as a first course with tortilla chips or, occasionally, with hot toast. Breadsticks and crudités accompany it well as part of a buffet spread and, if you want something a bit more celebratory, it also goes very well with smoked salmon.
I pinched the idea of seasoning the lemon juice before adding it to the other ingredientsfrom one of Nigella Lawson’s books, though I forget which.
2 or 3 avocados, depending on size
2 fat spring onions, very finely chopped
100g low-fat soft cheese (or 0% Greek yoghurt if you prefer)
juice of ½ to 1 lemon, to taste
a good pinch of salt and a twist of pepper
Mash the avocados well, then add the spring onions. Beat the soft cheese until smooth, then stir this into the avocado mixture. Stir the seasoning into the lemon juice and then pour it in, mixing well. Scrape the dip into a halfway decent-looking bowl, then cover the surface with clingfilm immediately and keep it there until seconds before you serve it. The lemon juice helps the dip to keep for a little while before turning brown, but don’t push your luck...
After our first course we enjoyed a pasta bake made with 200g of pasta, cooked and mixed with some leftover cooked chicken from Sunday's roast and some tinned sweetcorn. It was all bound together with a cheesy sauce and baked with more cheese atop.