The coastal San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara County region is unique as a place that grows both world-class Chardonnay and avocados—a match made in heaven. Of all the produce we grow at Talley Farms, avocados may be the crop I like most, and I consider guacamole to be the best possible expression of the fruit.
There are many variations of the basic guacamole recipe; mine focuses on five critical ingredients: ripe avocados, cilantro, garlic, jalapeño and lemon juice (in place of more commonly used lime juice). In the summer and fall, when we have heirloom tomatoes, I add tomato. Many cooks add onion as well, but I prefer to keep my guacamole simple. It should be served on traditional Mexican corn tortilla chips.
Brian Talley’s Guacamole
Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer
Prep time: 20 minutes
1 clove garlic, finely diced
½ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
½ medium jalapeño pepper, finely diced, divided
1 small ripe tomato, chopped (optional)
3 medium ripe Hass avocados
Juice of 1 lemon, divided
Combine garlic, cilantro, half the jalapeño and tomato, if desired, in a bowl large enough to accommodate finished guacamole. Add avocados, leaving the mixture as chunky as possible. Add half the lemon juice and salt to taste. Depending on how spicy you like it, add more jalapeño. Add more lemon juice if needed.
Pairing: With the guacamole you can serve either Mexican beer or a crisp Central Coast Chardonnay.
Talley’s musings on guacamole and more can be found in the new book “Our California Table: Celebrating the Seasons with the Talley Family” (Story Farm). Purchase your copy here.