I know, it’s not officially summer for a few weeks, but the neighborhood kids are running through the sprinklers, the fireflies are out, and the ice cream truck rolls through twice a day, blaring “Pop Goes the Weasel” through the open windows.

We’ve been grilling and making Coke floats and riding around with the windows down singing “Love Shack” at the top of our lungs.

It’s summer.

Time for picnics and cookouts, family reunions and weddings and baby showers, festivals and county fairs, concerts, day trips, the farmers’ market, cobblers and pies and homemade ice cream, driving around with the windows down, sitting barefooted on the front step and listening to Jeff play guitar at night.

I’m usually not a summer person – mainly because of the heat, humidity and mosquitoes big enough to rape chickens – but so many of my friends are having babies, there’s no time to do anything but celebrate … and keep a supply of fresh towels and boiling water … and make this Roasted Garlic, Poblano and Red Pepper Guacamole.

One of my favorite things to do every summer is to experiment with guacamole recipes.

You can make a respectable guacamole with nothing but avocado, lime and Kosher salt, but it’s so much better with just a few additions. Sometimes I make an all-raw guacamole, with avocado, lime, salt, a little minced onion and garlic, cilantro and a diced plum tomato. But when I have a lazy Saturday, Roasted Garlic, Poblano and Red Pepper Guacamole is the guac of choice. The roasted garlic comes out of the oven soft and malleable, with a flavor that’s still strong but much sweeter and mellower, and the charred peppers add the flavor of the grill to the guacamole. So, you have the mellow sweetness of the roasted garlic and peppers paired with all of that avocado richness and the fresh, bright flavors of the green onions, cilantro and lime juice.

This is what summer should taste like.

The guacamole is thick enough to hold a chip upright, like the Sword in the Stone, but you could easily spread it onto a bagel or use it to liven up a turkey sandwich, add it to a couple of tacos, use it as a vegetable dip or stir it into a salad. I’ve been known to make a meal of this guacamole and a handful of Mission® Tortilla Strips, especially when I’m doing important things, like making paper pom-pom flowers for this weekend’s baby shower.

A pretty perfect way to spend an afternoon.

Roasted Garlic, Poblano and Red Pepper Guacamole

From “Cooking Light” (May 2006)

Makes 8 servings (2 1/2 tablespoons each)

  • 6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1 medium red bell pepper
  • 1 medium poblano pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ripe peeled avocado, seeded and coarsely mashed
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Wrap garlic cloves in foil. Bake for 15 minutes or until soft. Let cool lightly; remove skins. Place garlic in a medium bowl; mash with a fork.
  3. Preheat broiler.
  4. Cut peppers in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 15 minutes or until blackened, turning frequently. Place in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 10 minutes. Peel and finely chop. Add peppers, onions, and next 4 ingredients (through avocado) to mashed garlic; stir well.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving) – PP+ = 1