I was in the kitchen the other day getting ready to use an avocado as one of the ingredients for my portobello burger, when I fondly recalled the conversation I had with my son. He wanted to know if there was an easy way to get the pit out of an avocado. I hadn’t really given much thought about it as I’ve been using avocados for a number years (akin to breathing). It’s funny the things we take for granted as being everyday knowledge. It was like an aha! moment when I told him how easy it was. For Jason and others out there who aren’t sure, here’s my step-by-step tutorial.
First things first. When buying an avocado, which can be tricky, how to determine whether or not it’s ripe and ready-to-eat? The Hass avocado, named after Rudolph Haas from California, is available year round and is dark green, slightly purplish in color with a bumpy skin. There are eight varieties of avocados but the one I see the most in the food shops is the Hass. Shiny avocados are not generally ripe but will become ripe within a couple of days at room temperature. A ripe avocado will feel slightly soft when gently squeezed. Touching the top of the avocado is another way to test if it’s ripe. If the skin feels squishy, has brown spots or blemishes, do not purchase as it is too ripe. If you want to slow the ripening process down, place in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
After hitting the pit with your knife, pull it out and discard. If you only want to use half of the avocado, place the other half in a container (fitted lid) along with a sliced onion wedge and keep in the fridge. Lemon or lime juice keeps the avocado from turning brown but I find this works better the day you use it. When the avocado sits in the fridge for a day or two, the lemon or lime juice starts to break down the flesh and it doesn’t look appealing – turns a bit slimy. An onion wedge keeps your avocado looking green and fresh.
The Culinary Chase’s Note: Crushed avocado shown above is lovely on toast, in a sandwich or burger, or to make guacamole. Enjoy!