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
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.
(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.)