But when you buy an avocado, you only dream of the great things to come—like guacamole or avocado toast.
So what are you supposed to do when you get impatient and cut it open too early? Throwing it out just feels wrong. But trying to eat it feels...gross.
Thankfully, there's another option: Turn your inedible avocado into something delicious. It sounds impossible, but there are plenty of ways to make this happen. Here are some unusual ideas worth trying...
Treat your avocado like a bell pepper or tomato: Halve it, stuff it with something tasty (like an egg, spicy black beans, or quinoa and veggies), and bake until your filling is cooked through. A ripe avocado would get sort of mushy and melty in the oven, but an underripe one will get just-right soft. And it's a lot healthier than a bread bowl.
Trying to grate a buttery, ripe avocado would be like trying to teach a dog to make pancakes: Bizarre, messy, and just plain thankless. But shredding an underripe avocado is pretty easy, and it yields the same rich, creamy texture as shredded cheese. And like your beloved cheddar or mozzarella, it's perfection with scrambled eggs, tossed into salads, or sprinkled on top of pretty much everything.
They're more decadent than fries made with plain old spuds and better for you at the same time. (How often does that happen?) Slice your avocado into thick wedges, dredge it in crispy panko, and bake until golden. The crispy-creamy result is so delicious, you might actually start seeking out rock-hard avocados on purpose.
Cube your avocado just like tofu, then toss it into your wok or sauté pan with your other stir-fry ingredients. The outside of the avocado will sear and get slightly caramelized, while the inside turns soft and buttery. Seriously, don't knock it until you've cleaned your entire plate.
Putting soft, ripe avocado halves on your barbecue is a great way to start a grease fire. But underripe ones hold their shape, and even get a nice char on the surface. All you have to do before serving is add a squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt.
Got a couple hours before it's time to eat? Give sliced avocado a soak in your favourite pickling brine. The vinegar makes the avocado slightly softer, and mellows out the weird raw flavour. Stuff the pickled avocado in a burger or wrap, or chop into smaller pieces and add them to salad.