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- 6 medium avocados, halved, pitted, peeled, diced
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil plus leaves for garnish
- 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
- Ciabatta bread slices, toasted
- Assorted crudités (such as mini bell peppers, celery, fennel, sugar snap peas, and carrots)
Place avocados in large bowl; add lemon juice. Using fork or potato masher, crush avocados coarsely. Mix in 1/2 cup chopped basil and shallots. Season to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 hour ahead. Cover and chill.
Transfer guacamole to serving bowl. Garnish with basil leaves. Place on platter. Arrange toasts and crudités around bowl.
With the appetizers, put out a couple of options. Prosecco (Italy's answer to Champagne) is always a good choice. For this party, Kate and Scott poured Botter NV Verduzzo Prosecco Frizzante ($17), a light-bodied sparkler from the Veneto region. They also offered Peroni Nastro Azzurro ($9 for a six-pack), a dry Italian lager with hoppy aromas.