Today is the start of one of my favorite weekends of the whole year.
I'm a huge fan of summer and this weekend signifies the start of the summer for us here in the east coast. Although summer's official start date is not until late June, this is the weekend for us that the grill get uncovered, some new plants get planted, and the flip flops get dusted off.
One of my favorite things about summer is cooking and hanging out with friends. Grabbing vegetables straight from the garden or the nearby farm stand, and having people over for a causal meal is just the best.
Backyard BBQs, beach picnics, long leisurely brunches. That's what summer is all about.
I love to have nibbly bits around whenever we are entertaining, and guacamole is always a popular snack. Sure, you can buy gaucamole in the store, but it is so much better (and impressive) when you make it at home.
I love to fanci-fy foods otherwise simple foods. Adding peas and fava beans is a super easy way to make a regular guacamole a little fancier. Since it is not officially summer yet, this snack is a marriage of a few great spring vegetables that you can still find right now, and one of my favorite summertime snack foods.
I am keeping this short and sweet, because I am off to cook for a big girls dinner tonight. I am so excited to kick off the summer with a huge home-cooked meal celebrating friends.
spring pea + fava bean guacamole with root chips
a few people as an appetizer
for the root chips:
5 large root vegetables (you can use a mix of golden or red beets, or turnips)
for the spring pea + fava guacamole:
20 english peas, peas removed from pod
5-6 fava beans, bean removed from pod and outer skin removed
4 ripe avocados
the juice of 1/2 a lemon
a handful of cilantro, chopped
1/2 of a small red onion (about 1/4 cup), finely diced
a pinch of smoked paprika
salt + pepper
a pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
Make the root chips:
- Pre-heat the oven to 300º. Line a large baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
- Slice the roots thinly with a mandolin, but not paper thin, you want them to have a little weight to them. Lay the sliced roots out onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Very lightly brush them with olive oil. Do not add salt at this point, it will draw out the water and make the chips soggy.
- Place another piece of parchment on top of the roots and then lay another baking sheet on top. This will help keep the chips flat when they bake.
- Bake the chips for about 20 minutes. Pull them out and remove the baking sheet that is on top and place them back in the oven for another 15-20 minutes. Keep an eye on them and pull out any that start to brown on the edges.
- When the are done, transfer the chips to a wire rack to cool. They will harden and crisp as they cool.
- When they've cooled, finish by seasoning with salt.
While the chips are cooling, prepare the gaucamole + serve:
- Place a small pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil. Prepare an ice bath and have it ready next to the boiling water.
- Place the peas and favas into the boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes. When the peas and fava beans are tender, remove using a slotted spoon and place into the ice bath. After about 2 minutes, strain the peas and beans from the ice bath.
- Smash the avocado with a fork until it is the consistency you like. Add the lemon juice, cilantro, and red onion, smoked paprika and stir to combine. Add the salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste.
- Top with the peas and fava beans, and serve immediately with the root chips.
- I recommend making the guacamole fresh, and not keeping it around for too long as it will oxidize. The chips, however, can be made ahead of time and stored in an air tight container.