Charred Onion Guacamole

Cooking (and eating) is our favorite hobby, but we do try to shake off our food obsession from time to time. Throughout the warm months, we like to be outside as much as possible and have been working hard gardening and landscaping our ruggedly hilly Pittsburgh yard.  Paul in particular, likes to attack gardening with a comical combination of thoughtful research (he reads up on plants all winter) and childlike glee!  Just this last fall he convinced me that we needed a few new tulip varieties for our gardens, I agreed and the result was an order of 500 bulbs!  I realized too late this weekend that Paul had also managed to finagle his way into ordering our spring mulch.... it should have come as no great surprise to me then when on Saturday morning, bright and early, we received a large dump truck full of mulch.   Suffice it to say, our gardens are now so soft and comfortable looking that the hounds have started ditching their dog beds in favor of curling up in the well mulched flower beds!

With all our spring work efforts we thought some guacamole and chips were in order to keep up our energy, especially after the 38 wheelbarrows of mulch down our steep yard.  This Charred Onion Guacamole is creamy, smoky and garlicky, you really don't even need chips to eat it. This Guacamole is the reward you deserve after a long spring day of work.  If you are like us, and don't always plan ahead to buy your avocados in time to ripen, Paul has a neat technique that works well to ensure you have access to this addictive dip.  1-2 days prior to use (the longer the better) Paul puts unripe avocados in a brown paper bag with a very ripe apple.  The apple releases ethylene gas, which gets trapped in the paper bag to fast forward the avocado ripening process. It's cool science.

Yield: serves 4 as an appetizer, or two hungry humans



  • 2 ripe avocados, peeled, seed removed
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 2 tablespoon fresh cilantro
  • 1-2 limes (juiced)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 fresh jalapeno (seeds and white inner membrane removed)


  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 5 cherry tomato finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon roughly chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 jalapeno, fresh or pickled depending on your preference
  • 1 green onion finely chopped


  1. Preheat your grill on high for 10-15 minutes.  Clean the grill grate, and quickly brush with a little cooking oil.  Toss the sliced onion pieces in lime juice, oil, salt and pepper,
  2. Lower heat to medium high and spread out the onion slices across the grill.  Cook for 3 minutes without moving, then flip, cook for another 2 minutes and flip once more for the final char, cook 2 minutes.  Remove from grill and set aside.
  3. Place all guacamole ingredients (avocados, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, salt, pepper, black pepper, jalapeno) in a large bowl and mash together.  Alternatively, if your avocados are still fairly firm, or if you like your guacamole to be a creamier consistency, as we do, use a blender, food processor or handheld blender to briefly process the avocado mixture.  Taste and please do dial up or down the lime, garlic, salt and jalapeno to your preference, this guacamole recipe can be easily adapted. 
  4. Mix the charred onions into the guacamole and top with whichever garnishes you have on hand,  We used cilantro and tomato.  Happy dipping!