Greek guacamole

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Greeks don’t traditionally cook with avocados. (They don’t have a lot of “lettuce” these days either, but that’s another story.)

Avocados are gaining in popularity in Greece. Conditions are suited to its production and there is a fledgling industry with some groves in Messinia, where my cousins live. Avocados are naturally suited to Greek cuisine, and are especially complementary to a Greek salad.

I also love guacamole. I had some avocados and spinach at home, and started playing around. One of my problems is that I don’t know when to stop, and I end up adding one too many ingredients. This extends to other aspects of my character, which recently caused me to tell an ill-timed joke in a case evaluation that went awry. But that too, is another story.
 

This guacamole started out innocently enough. I chopped the spinach finely, added garlic and green onions, and half of a seeded jalapeno. I could have stopped there, but no. I added a bit of olive oil and offered my daughter a taste. We decided it needed lemon, but I didn’t have any, and she wouldn’t go to the store for me even after I offered her a million dollars and my consent for a tattoo. So I had to go myself.
 

After adding lemon, the guac was good enough at that point. But I kept adding more. A dollop of plain yogurt really made it sing. I should have stopped there, but no!
 

It was also good with chopped tomato, diced feta, and chopped dill in various permutations. I think chopped red pepper may have been prettier and a better taste complement; I will leave these to you as optional garnishes. In the meantime, I present to you my own ethnic alternative to a summer favorite.
 

Greek Guacamole

Ingredients
 

Two avocados, mashed
 

One half-pound spinach, chopped fine like parsley
 

Two green onions, chopped fine
 

One clove garlic, minced
 

½ finely diced hot pepper, jalapeno or Hungarian (milder)
 

1 TBS olive oil
 

½ cup plain yogurt (Fage 2%, or Wallaby Organic lowfat are good)
 

Juice of ½ small lemon, or to taste
 

Salt and pepper to taste
 

Optional garnishes: a few ounces of finely diced feta, chopped dill, chopped sweet red pepper
 

Directions
 

Hand-mix all the ingredients, and top with any optional garnishes.
 

Serve with pita chips, multi-grain chips, or raw vegetables.
 

Delicious, and you won’t have to go bankrupt buying the ingredients. If you happen to not like it, blame the European Union.
 

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Nick Roumel is a principal with Nacht, Roumel, Salvatore, Blanchard, and Walker PC, a litigation firm in Ann Arbor specializing in employment litigation. He also has many years of varied restaurant and catering experience, has taught Greek cooking classes, and writes a food/restaurant column for “Current” magazine in Ann Arbor. He can be reached at nroumel@yahoo.com.  His blog is http://mayitpleasethepalate.blogspot.com/.
 

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