There are several varieties of avocados sold in the U.S. I prefer Haas avocados, which are oval in shape with a pebbly green exterior. They’re usually sold unripe and you need to wait a few days and let them ripen in your kitchen. You’ll know they’re unripe because they’ll be hard as a rock. They might be dark green or blackish in color — both are fine. If you feel an avocado in the store and it is soft, it’s either bruised or overripe. Don’t buy it. If you have doubts, ask your produce guy!
So you bought an avocado, took it home and after a day or two, it yields a bit when you press on it. That means it’s ready. When you press on it, don’t expect softness — remember when you bought it and it was rock hard? As soon as it’s not rock hard, and you can press a bit into it, that’s it! You’re good to go.
There is no one way to prep avocados. Some people like to make diagonal slashes in each half, invert it, and pop out the cubes. To be perfectly honest, that method hasn’t always worked for me.
This method never lets me down:
- Take a paring knife and slice from the stem-end (think of a pear and where the stem is on a pear) lengthwise around the bottom of the avocado and back up to the top on the other side. Gently pull apart the two halves. One half will have a pit attached to it.
- Gently peel the skin from each half and discard.
- Take your knife and make lengthwise slices, keeping them together. Rotate the avocado 90 degrees and then slice the avocado crosswise, making beautiful cubes. Voila!
- If you only need half an avocado, choose the half without the pit. Wrap the half with the pit in aluminum foil and refrigerate it. Wrapping it in foil will prevent it from discoloring as quickly as if wrapped in plastic wrap. You can rub lemon on the surface of the avocado to prevent discoloration, but that works only if you want lemony flavor with you avocado. What I generally do is try to use it within a day. You’ll get a bit of brown on the exposed surface which you can either scrape away or ignore. I usually do the latter. To release the pit, stick you knife bravely and confidently into the pit and twist gently. The pit will dislodge and just throw it away, and you know what to do . . .