If you think Cinco de Mayo is the perfect excuse to drink margaritas and stuff yourself silly with guacamole and tortilla chips (it is), you should also know that the fifth of May is not Mexico’s Independence Day—that’s September 16—but rather the day the Mexican army trampled the French in Puebla in 1862. It’s celebrated with more gusto here than it is in Mexico, which is why 81 million pounds of avocados are expected to be consumed this week, mostly as guacamole. But there are lots of other ways to enjoy avocados. Check out these five deliciously wacky ones:
Grilled Avocado with Chipotle Vinaigrette (Who knew you could grill an avocado?)
Halve and pit—don’t peel—4 avocados and brush flesh with olive oil. Grill, flesh side down, over medium-hot coals (medium-high heat and cover if using gas) or a hot grill pan, until grill marks appear, 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Drizzle with vinaigrette: Whisk together 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon sauce from chipotles in adobo, 1/3 cup olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
Coffee Avocado Milkshake (A classic Indonesian refresher)
Scoop ½ ripe avocado into a blender with 1/3 cup cooled espresso (or 1 cup strong brewed coffee), ½ cup sweetened condensed milk, 2 teaspoons vanilla and 2 cups ice cubes. Purée until smooth.
Avocado Cream Pie (No-bake, and blow-your-hair-back amazing)
Purée 2 medium-large avocadoes with a 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk and 6 tablespoons lemon juice in a blender or food processor. Spread evenly in a graham cracker crust. Chill until cold. Top with lightly sweetened whipped cream.
Avocado Gelato (Suave)
Bring to a simmer 1 ¾ cups milk, ½ cup sugar, and a pinch of salt. Dissolve 2 tablespoons cornstarch in ¼ cup cold milk and whisk into simmering milk, then boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Pour into a metal bowl and chill down in an ice bath. Purée flesh of 2 large avocados with ¼ cup sugar and 1 (500 mg) vitamin C tablet, crushed. Whisk purée into chilled milk mixure with 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla. Freeze in an ice-cream maker.
Avocado Marshmallows (Chewy and creamy at the same time)
Sprinkle 2 (1/4-oz) packets unflavored gelatin over 1/3 cup water and 2 tablespoons lime juice in bowl of a stand mixer to soften. Stir together 2/3 cup light corn syrup, 6 tablespoons sugar, ¼ cup water and a pinch of salt in a heavy pot; boil without stirring, until it hits 238 – 240°F. on a candy thermometer. Mix gelatin on low speed and slowly add hot syrup, then beat at high speed until thick, 11 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, purée 1 avocado with ½ teaspoon lime zest and 2 (500-mg) vitamin C tablets, crushed, and beat into gelatin mixture. Spread in an oiled 8-inch square pan; smooth top with dampened hands. Chill until firm. Cut into squares and toss with confectioners sugar. Eat as is, or toast over a campfire or with a small torch.