The Secret Ingredient for Killer Guacamole

To celebrate the anticipated arrival of warm weather, we’re featuring simple appetizers this May, starting with this delicious guacamole from Jennifer Segal’s new cookbook, Once Upon a Chef. It’s sure to become a party favorite. Here’s how to make it (with a surprising addition!)…

Chunky Pea Guacamole
From Jennifer Segal’s Once Upon a Chef

This is the recipe that caused an uproar in the media a few years ago, when the New York Times tweeted a guacamole recipe with the caption, “Add peas to your guacamole. Trust us.” People were outraged by the idea of messing with such a classic recipe. But I thought, “How bad could it be?” Sure enough, it was delicious. The peas add an appealing sweetness and chunkiness to the dip and also intensify the green color. I should note that the original recipe in the Times (from ABC Cocina in New York City) calls for garnishing the guacamole with some of the peas and also sunflower seeds. I think the peas look weird on top, so I just mix them all in. And as for the sunflower seeds, I leave them out—that’s where I draw the line!

Recipe: Chunky Pea Guacamole
Serves 6

You’ll need:

2 small jalapeño peppers
2/3 cup thawed frozen or cooked fresh peas
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
3 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
3 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1 lime (about 2 tbsp), plus more as needed
3/4 tsp salt
Tortilla chips, for serving
Lime wedges, for serving (optional)

Place one of the jalapeños on the prepared pan and broil, turning occasionally, until the pepper is completely charred, a few minutes. (Alternatively, if you have a gas stove, turn a burner to the highest setting and, using a pair of tongs, set your pepper directly on the flame. Use the tongs to turn the pepper until the skin is completely blackened.) Immediately place the blackened pepper in a small bowl, cover it tightly with plastic wrap, and let it steam for 15 minutes. When the pepper is cool enough to handle, use a paper towel to wipe off the charred skin. Halve, seed and dice the roasted jalapeño. Then halve, seed and dice the remaining raw jalapeño.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the peas with the roasted jalapeño, raw jalapeño and cilantro. Process to a coarse purée. (Alternatively, you can finely chop the mixture with a knife.)

In a medium bowl, combine the avocados, scallions, lime zest and juice, salt and pea-jalapeño purée. Mash until well combined but still a little chunky. Taste and adjust the salt and lime juice as needed. Serve with tortilla chips and lime wedges, if desired.

Recipe note: Most of the heat in a jalapeño pepper is in the ribs and seeds, so for a spicier guacamole, go ahead and add some of the seeds. Heat the broiler to high and set an oven rack in the top position. Line a small baking pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil.

Thank you so much, Jennifer! We love your new cookbook.

P.S. More awesome recipes, including mango salsa and chickpea salad.

(Recipe from Once Upon a Chef by Jennifer Segal. Photographs by Alexandra Grablewski, Chronicle Books, 2018. Thanks to Franny Eremin for helping with this series.)