Avocados have been having a moment the past few years and they don’t seem to be going away anytime soon. You can’t order a slice of toast or swing by a smoothie bar without the cashier uttering “Would you like to add avocado? It costs $2 extra.” They get me every time and I become the embodiment of the cliched California girl, spending all of her hard earned cash on artisan toasts and avo upcharges. I shamelessly treat myself to a thick slab of avo toast all while wearing my overpriced yoga pants and sipping on a frosty can of La Croix. So predicable and boring. I almost hate myself for it but it’s just so damn good. However, I do draw the line at small batch, organic, non-GMO, chia seed Kombucha and hand foraged flower crowns, because as every basic B says, I can’t even.
While I love me some avocado on just about everything, nothing marries my heart to my stomach quite like a big ol’ bowl of mushed up guacamole. In the pit of my heart (and stomach), I truly believe avocados were put on this earth solely for guacamole. Avocado as salad toppings or pressed into buttery avocado oil, is just an added bonus gifted to us by the gods of the Golden State. Needless to say, this recipe for Guacamole with Spicy Cucumbers and Radishes is a go-to on the weekly rotation around here. Since I can put away an entire molcajete full of guac within minutes, I eventually realized that I needed to ease up on the tortilla chips or I’d wind up resembling an avocado with arms and legs. This recipe for Guacamole with Spicy Cucumbers and Radishes celebrates the lighter side of the classic snack by replacing the bottomless bowl of deep fried tortilla chips with sturdy slices of light and healthy cucumbers and spicy radishes. The cucs and radishes get spritzed with a zesty dose of lime juice then sprinkled with flaky salt and spicy red pepper flakes to bring the heat. They are so satisfying, I swear you’ll never even miss the chips. My guacamole is fairly basic, with a few minor tweaks to let that avocado shine. I like to use shallots in place of onions so things don’t get overpowered with onion fumes. I use plenty of cilantro for herby freshness and spice it up with finely chopped serrano chiles. Then I cut all of that rich avocado fat with loads of fresh squeezed lime and zippy, crunchy salt salt. I top it all of with thin slices of serrano chiles and toasted pepitas for a crunchy hit. The flavor combo in my Guacamole with Spicy Cucumbers and Radishes is fresh and balanced with just the right amounts of salt, fat acid and heat. FYI, get the book, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, it’s amazing.
I first had the combo of Guacamole with Spicy Cucumbers at my #1, all-time, hands-down, far and away, favorite restaurant in Portland, OR, ¿Por Qué No?. Since there is no way on earth I could ever recreate their to-die-for Barbacoa topped Bryan’s Bowl, seasonally inspired veggie tacos or ass kicking pints of spicy house made margaritas, I can at least mimic the PQN staple and make my own Guacamole with Spicy Cucumbers and Radishes here at home in in California. Whenever I’m homesick for squeezing into the itty bitty, hole in the wall in my old Portland hood, I crank the 90s hip hop (just like they do at PQN) mash up some Guacamole with Spicy Cucumbers and Radishes and call my best friend, Bridget, to reminisce about our fave little taco shop in all of the land.
Guacamole takes a walk on the lighter side when served with thick cut, lime spritzed, spicy cucumbers and radishes in place of tortilla chips. A fresh and balanced combo with just the right amounts of salt, fat, acid and heat.
- 4 ripe avocados
- 2 small shallots finely chopped
- 1-2 serrano chile peppers 1 for some spice, 2 for extra spicy
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
- 1 roma tomato
- 1-2 limes to taste
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup pepitas toasted
- 2 cucmbers thickly sliced
- 4 radishes thickly sliced
- 1-2 limes to taste
- 1 teaspoons red chili flakes
- coarse or crunchy salt flakes to taste
Dice the tomatoes. Finely chop the shallots and half of the serrano chiles. Thinly slice the remaining chiles and reserve for garnish.
Smash avocados with a wooden spoon or fork in a medium bowl until mashed but still slightly chunky. Mix in the chopped shallots and chiles with half of the lime juice, salt and pepper. Then stir in the tomatoes and cilantro.
Taste and add more lime, salt and pepper accordingly.
Top with toasted pepitas and garnish with thinly sliced chiles, cilantro and salt and pepper.
Slice the cucumbers and radishes into thick and sturdy slices that will hold loads of guac.
Spritz with fresh lime juice, sprinkle with red chile flakes and salt as desired.
Serve immediately and eat every last bite.
Serve this in place of tortilla chips for a guilt-free(ish) snack or alongside chips for for a little indulgence.
Works great with carrots or jicima as well!