Roberto Santibañez' Classic Guacamole

By • July 10, 2012 • 44 Comments

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Author Notes: What Santibañez wants cooks to realize, he told me, is this: "There is a very important textural thing to guacamole -- we never really mush up the avocado. You want to feel everything." He crushes only enough of the avocado to warrant it consideration as a dip rather than a salad, but leaves the rest of the cubes intact, bathing them in the vividly flavored chile sauce, "a bit like salad properly dressed in vinaigrette," he writes. Recipe adapted slightly from Truly Mexican (Wiley, 2011).Genius Recipes

Makes about 1 3/4 cups

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped white onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh serrano or jalapeno chile, including seeds, or more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, divided
  • 1 large or 2 small ripe Mexican Hass avocados, halved and pitted
  • A squeeze of lime, if desired
  1. Mash the onion, chile, salt (the coarseness of kosher salt helps you make the paste), and half of the cilantro to a paste in a molcajete or other mortar. You can also mince and mash the ingredients together on a cutting board with a large knife or a fork, and then transfer the paste to a bowl.
  2. Score the flesh in the avocado halves in a crosshatch pattern (not through the skin) with a knife and then scoop it with a spoon into the mortar or bowl. Toss well (it should be like salad properly dressed in vinaigrette), then add the rest of the cilantro and mash very coarsely with a pestle or a fork. Season to taste with lime juice (if you'd like) and additional chile and salt.

Comments (44) Questions (1)


13 days ago Donna Oliphint

Barefoot Contessa has my favorite recipe. It uses lemon juice! Having lived in Houston for 18 years, I considered it anathema, but tried lime juice and found the lemon juice FAR better. Who knew???


19 days ago Juliebell

Hi tamater. If I have any left over I squeeze a healthy amount of lime juice over and then cover directly with plastic wrap molding to the avocado to try to keep out the air. Works pretty well for a short time. Any brown spots can be scraped off with a spoon.


19 days ago tamater sammich

Thanks Roberto, for what looks like a lovely recipe to try when I can get my hands on an avocado. I have a question you might be able to answer: I'm the only one in this house who will eat avocado, (I know, crazy, isn't it?) and though I adore them, if the avocado is big, and I can't eat the whole thing in one sitting, what's the best way to save the uneaten portion from turning brown?


22 days ago nks

Why cilantro tastes like soap to some people.


19 days ago tamater sammich

nks, thanks for that interesting link. I'm one of those who used to hate, but learned to love it. The first few times I had it, many years ago, at a newly opened Portugese tappas place. Each time I encountered it, I had the dish returned to the kitchen, saying it tasted soapy. The staff was very nice (and perplexed) about it, but I finally I stopped going there, thinking "If they can't even keep the soap out of their food…"
Finally, at a Bbq, someone brought a dish with tons cilantro, and there was much conversation about it, and I finally put two and two together.
Sadly, the restaurant had closed by then - too bad, because all the dishes 'with no soap' in them, were fabulous. And finally, I love cilantro!


about 1 month ago grasspress

you want easy but good guac built to your own specs? try this: 3-4 scooped out avocados cut/mashed to your specs. put in bowl and mix with your favourite store-bought salsa mix. voila! try it and see before doubting. add more/less avocados to your taste. don't worry too much about tradition. go for it.


about 1 month ago Blanquita

No Cilantro? first time in my life I've heard cilantros tastes like soap.


about 1 month ago Diana Zee

Just made this recipe and had a quick taste - yum! We shall await comments from others.


about 1 month ago Ilene

Just read the recipe. Yum! Mouth watering.


about 1 month ago Simone Brightstein

while I can tolerate ground cilantro seed, the fresh herb is unpalatable to me and Ivory Soap is a good description:-))


3 months ago Maribeth Custenborder

cilantro tastes like ivory soap ugh


3 months ago Cindy Dupin

I agree, it tastes like soap to me as well !!! I either omit it completely, or use parsley in place, depending on what I am making... Hate cilantro !!!


3 months ago ksb

Guacamole is made by rubbing the bowl with garlic, tossing that aside.
Next, avocados mashed lightly, a squirt of lime and a little salt.
That's it!!
Go to mexico, that's how it's made.


3 months ago Abbatoir

No garlic. Thank you! I love garlic. Just not in guac.


4 months ago Eileen O'Neil

I keep ripe avocados in my house frequently and use them like butter on toast and sprinkle a little sea salt on top. I use them instead of mayo or other sandwich dressings, too. So perfect! This recipe is excellent.


5 months ago Kimberly

I really like this think I'm going to have it today Thanks for sending this to me keep up the good work


6 months ago bluelightinamorata

Love this recipe! so glad to see a guacamole recipe without tomatoes. Thanks:)


7 months ago SunBunny

My hubby and daughter hate guac and their mexican. Go figure.


7 months ago Carol Ann Wilson

What no garlic?


8 months ago Rebecca

This is how I have always made it...soooo good.


8 months ago When_Do_We_Eat

This is definitely my new "go-to" guac!


11 months ago Chloe8

Easier than I thought! Will try it!!