Being married to a Salvadorian who grew up in Mexico means that guacamole is always a favorite in our house, with or without the tacos. It’s a great and nutritious after-school snack, great with eggs for breakfast and endless numbers of dishes. Most dips on the supermarket shelves have preservatives in them, so wanting to avoid this most of the time, and also being a cook-it-from-scratch nazi, this is a definite go-to when I have hungry post-school boys searching the cupboards for something to eat, and is so easy the boys can actually make it themselves. A native guacamole was a fairly obvious option to explore, as some of the native flavours are balanced out very nicely by the mellowness and alkalinity of the avocado. My boys almost like this native version better than the traditional Mexican version. If you have some of these native herbs growing in the backyard, it will certainly avoid the last minute dash to the supermarket if you have run out of coriander.
About the ingredients
Native Thyme: has a sharp, minty flavor, with a slight lemon pepper after-taste. It has healing properties related to headaches and colds and was originally used for such medicinal purposes. It likes to grow in cooler climates as it normally grows in southern parts of Australia, and can be a fantastic addition to the backyard herb garden. It can be used fresh with meats, chicken or fish, or can be dried to add some zing to herbal teas or dried herb mixes that need a lift.
Pepper leaf: Comes from the Tasmannia lanceolata plant which grows well in southern parts of Australia where the climate is cooler, and the berries and leaves can be used. It has quite a complex flavour structure, with a number of different layers and dimensions that go well with either sweet or savory. It can be used with curries, cheese, meats, ice-cream or even Christmas cake. Nutritionally, the pepper leaf is a wonderful anti-oxidant, is high in Vitamin E and folate, and has antibacterial / antifungal properties. This bush is easy to grow at home and would be a useful addition to your collection of herbs and spices growing in your backyard.
Lemon myrtle: probably one of the most versatile and easy-to-use native herb commercially available at the moment, as its essentially "lemon in a leaf". Its slightly more herby than using traditional lemon, but has been found to have more citral (what gives the lemon flavour) than any other plant in the world, so its unmistakably lemon. This is also a great antimicrobial and antifungal, and can help against the spoilage of food, as well as being a strong antioxidant substance. The leaves can be dried and used whole, or ground, or can be used fresh to infuse in to liquids during cooking. An absolute must-have for the backyard herb garden.
- 2 ripe avocado
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ tablespoons lemon or lime juice
- ½ red onion, chopped finely
- I small tomato, chopped finely
- ¼ teaspoon dried pepper leaf
- ½ teaspoon dried lemon myrtle
- Finely chopped fresh herbs including
- 1 tablespoon chives
- 1 ½ teaspoons fresh native thyme
- Add fresh or dried chilli if you wish for extra zing
Steps and Method
1. Place the chopped red onion into a bowl with the lemon juice and salt, mix thoroughly with your hands and leave to stand for approx 10 mins.
2. While the onion is marinating, prepare and chop your herbs and tomato.
3. Scoop out all the flesh from the avocado and mash thoroughly, keeping the seed of one of the avocadoes and placing it in the mashed avocado to help minimize browning.
4. After 10 mins or so, mix all the ingredients together. Taste to make sure there is enough salt to your liking.
5. You may wish to add more lemon or herbs depending on your palate.
6. Will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for 24 hours.