The crisp cool air is slowly replacing the summer heat here in New York! And the summer produce is being replaced everywhere with heartier, starchier offerings. I managed to grab some wonderfully sweet Persian cucumbers and perfect avocados. I don’t know about you, but I can eat Guacamole literally on a daily basis!! So first, I proceeded to make a spicy “guac” and then thought that instead of dipping the crunchy cucumber in it, why not fill them with the guac?! And for more style, added a teeny dollop of greek yogurt and topped it with salsa! And voila, these became healthy little bites to snack on! This is a ridiculously simple recipe, so I urge you to try it!
I added the Greek yogurt for visual appeal, but eliminating it can make this completely vegan!
The trick here is to buy the perfect avocados…not too soft that it gets mushy but not too firm that you can’t mash it up to make the perfect guac! So when you pick up the avaocado in the store, give it a very gentle squeeze with your thumb. There should be a little give but not overly ripe. That is the perfect one to pick to make your guacamole!
- 3 Avocados
- 1 Medium-sized Red Onion
- 3 Serrano Chilies
- 1 Jalapeno Chili
- 1 Medium-Sized Firm Tomato
- 1 cup of Finely Chopped Cilantro
- 3 Tbsp of Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
- Salt to Taste
- 3 Persian/Kirby Cucumbers
- 1/2 cup of Greek Yogurt/Sour cream
- Store bought Hot Salsa
- Round crackers (any variety)
PREPARE THE CUCUMBERS:
a. Wash the cucumbers and trim the edges. Use a peeler to peel the skin off leaving some of it intact. To do this, hold the cucumber in one hand and start from the top and with a quick movement, peel off the skin. Then, turn the cucumber slightly leaving a gap, and peel again. Repeat this till you have bands of skin alternating with peeled off skin in the cucumbers for a pretty look.
b. With a sharp serrated knife, cut the cucumbers into .75-1" thick slices.
c. With an apple corer, scoop out the insides of the cucumber*
d. Refrigerate the cucumber cups till you are ready to assemble.
MAKE THE GUACAMOLE:
a. Finely dice the red onion
b. Cut the tomatoes in half and with a small spoon, scoop out the flesh and the seeds**
c. Finely chop the serrano and jalapeno chilies.
d. Squeeze the juice of 2 limes to make 3 tbsp of fresh juice.
e. Scoop out the flesh of the avocados and put them into a big bowl. Add a little salt and 1 tbsp of the lime juice. Mash with a fork.***
f. Quickly add the onions, tomatoes, chilies, cilantro, rest of the lime juice and salt to taste.
g. Adjust lemon/salt according to your taste.
h. Mix everything well quickly and cover immediately and refrigerate if you are not using it immediately. ****
ASSEMBLING THE CUCUMBER-GUACAMOLE BITES:
a. Whisk the Greek yogurt/Sour cream to a smooth consistency *****
b. On a plate arrange the cucumber cups.
c. With a small spoon, gently fill the cucumber cups with the Guacamole.
d. Use a mini spoon to add a small dollop of greek yogurt/sour cream on top of the guac.
e. Dot the sour cream with a teeny amount of hot salsa.
f. Arrange round savory crackers on a serving platter.
g. Quickly transfer each stuffed cucumber cup on to the crackers.
h. Demolish them in quick succession!!! And savor the feeling of victorious healthful and delicious eating exercise!
Notes to the Chef:
*Chop the scooped out flesh finely and mix with some finely shredded carrot. Add to whisked, salted yogurt for a cooling Raita!
** Use the tomato pulp for any soup, gravy or curries that you are making.
*** I like my Guacamole chunky, so I used a gentle mashing technique, but if you like yours smooth, go for it!
**** I really recommend that you make this right before you want to eat/serve. It is best when eaten fresh and at room temperature!
***** If you don't have Greek yogurt or sour cream on hand, you can absolutely use thick yogurt. Same purpose served!