Sure, avocado doesn't have to be pretty for guacamole, but what about those beautiful plated pieces we see in restaurants? Viewer Heather has a question about just that.
Q: "How do I get an avocado in slices like they do in restaurants, instead of just scooping it out?"
A: Chef Curtis Stone says it all starts with knowing how to purchase avocados.
"If they're very green, they're still under-ripe, but avocados will ripen," Curtis says. "What you're looking for is one that is really nice and ripe."
In fact, Curtis buys three in different stages of ripeness so that over the course of the few days, he'll have one that is perfectly ripe.
Now, to get perfect slices, first take a sharp knife (but be careful!) and push it into the avocado to make two even sections. Go gently around the avocado with the knife to fully cut it — around the pit, of course. Then twist the avocado to open it.
Now, there are two ways, according to Curtis, to get the pit out.
The safest way, if you're not used to using a knife, is to get a spoon and scoop it out. The other way, for more advanced chefs who are much more comfortable with a knife, is to tap the pit with the blade and then give the knife a twist (again, be careful!) to dislodge the pit. Feel free to put the avocado on the counter, like Rach says, for a bit more stability.
Now for the pesky part — the skin!
"The easiest way to do it is to cut the halves of the avocado in half lengthwise and the skin should easily peel off."
After that, use your sharp knife to make avocado slices.
Watch Curtis demonstrate in the video above!
Pro tip: If your avocados aren't ripening quick enough, throw them into a brown paper bag with a banana. (Fun fact: The banana releases ethylene and will help ripen your avocados.)