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Perfect for the Weekend: Papalo Guacamole

Ingredients for Guacamole

On Friday, my good friend (and chef) Billy Barlow gave me a small leafy herb to experiment with over the weekend. Before I even knew what it was, I noticed that it had a very pungent aroma that smelled slightly of soap, and that it tasted like a stronger version of cilantro.

“It’s papalo!” he told me—certainly not something you find at just any greenmarket around town. Indeed, Billy had sourced his from Blooming Hill Farm in New Jersey.

Intrigued by the herb’s peculiar flavor, I got Billy to give me a few clumps of the exotic herb to throw in something at home. “A little goes a long way,” he warned me as he gave me just a few leaves.

Once I got home, Laura and I talked about how we wanted to use it. It was a nice summer day outside, so considering that and the fact that we are both Texans by birth, we decided the only thing it could rightly be used in was guacamole.

Fresh Avocados for Guacamole

Deseeding a Jalapeño

Laura had told me that her dad, in addition to being a badass cyclist (see photo), makes a mean guacamole, so I left the prep work and mixing up to her, but it’s really pretty simple: a few avocados, mashed together with chopped onion, jalapeño, tomato and cilantro (or papalo, in our case).

The Beginnings of Guacamole

Billy was right about a little going a long way–the few leaves we used were more than enough to add a new flavor to an old standby.

Easy Homemade Guacamole

Using papalo in place of cilantro definitely yielded a different guacamole than we were used to, but it wasn’t a bad thing at all. The papalo’s sharp taste seemed to cut right through the jalepeño’s spice to create what we determined was an almost floral note.

Sitting on the Fire Escape

Along with a couple of margaritas, we sat out on our fire escape and enjoyed our new creation while thinking up other ways to use our newfound herbaceous friend.

Have a safe and fun holiday weekend!

– Ryan


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