Once just the staple ingredient for salsa’s favorite sidekick, avocados have since become a kitchen mainstay. They’re used in salads, on sandwiches or toast and even in baking.
At McAlister’s we use avocados every day on some of our favorite items like the BLT+A and Garden Fresh Turkey Sandwich. But we’re also big fans of adding avocados to our Club Wrap, the Caesar Salad and essentially any of our turkey or chicken sandwiches.
As they say, it’s what’s on the inside that counts, but often times it’s difficult to pick the perfect avocado or to know when it’s at its best and ready to use. So to help us (and you) when we’re not at McAlister’s, we asked our in-house avocado aficionado, Chef Will Eudy, to list out some of his tips for picking and prepping avocados to perfection.
Ripe for the Picking:
You’ll benefit from being proactive - buy firm avocados two days before you want to use them or buy a slightly softer/turning avocado the day before you plan to use it.
Last minute shopper?
Our best advice is to try to shop at least a day in advance, as it’s hard to tell what an avocado is going to be like when you try to buy today and use tonight. When you select a ripened/soft avocado, heat from being in the car, sitting in the grocery bag and other environmental factors can be detrimental to the already fragile avocado. But when time doesn’t allow for you to plan ahead, pick a ripened avocado and be extra gentle with how it’s handled from store to home to ensure the best quality.
Storing the Ripe Way:
Too ripe and you’re not ready?
If your avocado is too ripe (soft) and you need to save it for tomorrow, store it in the refrigerator to help it maintain its ripe, fresh status.
Too hard and you need it soon?
If you didn’t nail your avocado pick and it’s not ripe or ready when you are, leave it on the kitchen counter to ripen. If you’re really in a time crunch and need it “ripe” away, put the avocado in a paper bag to help speed the ripening process!
Half it now, & have it later:
Recipe only call for half an avocado?
There’s still hope for the other half! If you only need to use half of your avocado, brush the remaining half with olive oil or lemon juice, wrap it in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator to keep it fresh for up to 24 hours.
Now you can go forth with all the avocado expertise needed to elevate almost any dish with nature’s most versatile fruit!