Preparing an Avocado

After Penelope Middleton published her latest book on Amazon, “Exotic Cooking,” she received a number of emails asking how to safely and easily seed an avocado. She did the ‘honest thing’ and forwarded the emails to me! So, rising to the occasion like a hungry bass chasing a tasty meal, here’s my suggested way to prepare an avocado. Beware… my way does involve a large, sharp knife!

Liberating the Avocado Seed (Pit)

First place the avocado on a suitable cutting board. With an 8 inch chef’s knife or similar, score the avocado from the stem end all around the length of the avocado. Cut in deep enough so you feel the blade’s edge touch the single, large seed. After you’ve circled the avocado, hold the avocado in your two hands and twist along the cutline. The avocado should separate into two halves. One half will contain the large, brownish seed.

Place the Avocado half with the seed on the cutting board, seed up. Keep your fingers away from the avocado. Use your chef’s knife’s cutting edge, sharply strike a blow on the center of the seed. Sink the blade into the seed. Then, holding the avocado half with one hand, gently twist the seed counterclockwise. The seed will come free from the avocado half.

Removing the Seed from the Knife

I remove the seed from the blade by gently pulling the seed from the blade using the stainless steel edge of the sink. After washing the seed to remove any residual avocado flesh, I prepare the seed for rooting.

Avocado Slices

To make avocado slices, take a butter knife’s dull back edge and score the avocado flesh at ¼ inch intervals, cutting to the shell but not through it. With the back edge of the butter knife, run it around the inside of the shell, loosening the slices. The slices should slip away from the shell and fall out onto a waiting plate.

And there you have it: a pitted avocado, sliced and ready for your use!

Starting an Avocado Seedling

I take an empty half liter plastic water bottle (I used an Arrowhead™ water bottle) and with a sharp razor knife, slice the bottle in half just above the flare in the center. I drilled four holes around the pointed end of the seed using my trusty electric hand drill and a 1/16 inch drill bit. After seating a toothpick firmly into each of the four holes, I suspend the seed in the bottom half of the plastic bottle. I fill the bottom half with enough water to almost submerge the seed. Then I place the seed in its starter container on a sunny windowsill. When the seedling has grown a stem about one foot tall, I transplant it to a soil-filled clay pot. And that’s my new avocado tree, started from a seed.