Ideas for serving: When I’ve got my grill going, I like to make my almost-Oaxacan tlayudas: I spread out commercially made tortillas (I buy them from a local tortillería and let them cool off completely) into a single layer, brush both sides of each one lightly but thoroughly with oil, then grill them until they’re crisp. Once they cool, I break them into big rustic pieces for dipping into this guacamole. Wedges of grilled pita make a delicious and unexpected vehicle for dipping. For a pass-around appetizer, slices of crispy grilled baguette topped with a dollop of bacony guacamole are always a hit.
- 4 medium (about 8 ounces total) tomatillos, husked, rinsed and cut in half crosswise
- 4 ramps (wild spring leeks) or large green onions OR a 1-inch-diameter bunch of garlic chives
- A little olive or vegetable oil
- 1 large fresh serrano or small fresh jalapeño, stemmed
- 4 thick slices (about 4 ounces) bacon
- 3 ripe medium-large avocados
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- About 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus extra leaves for garnish
- Heat a gas grill to medium or light a charcoal grill and let it burn until the coals are medium-hot and covered with gray ash. Lay the halved tomatillos cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet or metal baking pan and slide onto the grill. Brush the ramps (or green onions or garlic chives) with oil. Lay them directly on the grill, along with the chile (no oil needed). Grill the ramps (or their stand-ins) and the chile, turning occasionally, until soft and richly browned-the ramps will take 4 to 5 minutes, the chile about 10.
- Cook the tomatillos about 3 to 4 minutes, until soft and browned on one side, then flip them over and cook the other side. Cool everything. Finely chop the ramps (etc.) and chile, then scrape into a large bowl. Chop the tomatillo into small pieces and scrape them in with the ramps, then scrape in any juice that remains on the baking sheet.
- While the grilled vegetables are cooling, cook the bacon in a single layer in a large skillet over medium heat, turning every once in a while, until browned and crispy, about 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels, then chop into small pieces.
- Cut the avocados in half, running a knife around the pit from top to bottom and back up again. Twist the halves in opposite directions to release the pit from one side of each avocado. Remove the pit, then scoop the flesh from each half into the bowl with the tomatillos. With an old-fashioned potato masher, a large fork or the back of a large spoon, coarsely mash the avocado with the tomatillo mixture. Stir in the lime juice, cilantro and half of the bacon. Taste and season with salt, usually about 1 teaspoon. Cover with plastic wrap pressed directly on the surface of the guacamole and refrigerate until you're ready to serve.
- When that time comes, scrape the guacamole into a serving dish and sprinkle with the remaining bacon. Garnish with cilantro leaves.