Make Ahead


January 17, 2011
0 Ratings
  • Makes about 3 cups
Author Notes

I’m a guacamole snob. When I see recipes that call for adding mayo or sour cream to the mix, I’ll admit, I bristle a little bit. To me, the best guacamole is all about balance, about perfectly ripe avocados that are buttery and creamy in their own right, accented with a few choice ingredients that highlight the flavor of the avocados without overpowering them. The texture, too, is important – you want a bit of structure and chunkiness, not something blended to baby food-like smoothness. This is really best in the summer when you can get great fresh tomatoes, but I’ve had good luck with hydroponically-grown stem tomatoes in the off season – just use the very best tasting tomatoes you can find. The cilantro is optional, but highly recommended – and I know that some people truly have issues with it, but I’ve had more than one cilantro-averse friend tell me it didn’t bother them here. —lastnightsdinner

What You'll Need
  • 1-2 fat cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoons coarse sea salt
  • 1 lime
  • 1 small or ½ medium red onion
  • 1-2 small fresh Serrano chile peppers
  • 4 ripe Haas avocados
  • 1-2 small ripe fresh tomatoes, cored, seeded, and diced (about ½ cup total)
  • fresh cilantro, leaves picked, about ½ cup loosely packed (optional, but suggested)
  • additional Kosher or sea salt to taste
  1. Smash the garlic cloves with the side of a chef’s knife and remove the peels. Sprinkle the coarse sea salt over them, and mash to a paste with your knife. Scrape the garlic paste into a large mixing bowl. Zest the lime and add the zest to the bowl. Cut the lime in half and squeeze the juice from one half into the mixing bowl.
  2. Peel the onion and chop it very fine. Remove the stem and seeds from the chile pepper(s) and mince fine (I typically rough chop the onion and add both it and the chile pepper to the small bowl of my food processor, pulsing until the mixture is chopped fine). Add the onion and chile pepper to the mixing bowl.
  3. Cut each avocado in half lengthwise. Gently but firmly tap the pit with your chef’s knife, twist to loosen, then remove. Use a kitchen towel to pull the pit from your knife and discard. Take each avocado half in your hands, holding it over your mixing bowl, and pinch the skin at the center, gently squeezing and pressing down to separate all of the flesh from the skin. Using a fork, gently combine the avocado with the rest of the ingredients in the mixing bowl, breaking up very large chunks but leaving the mixture a bit chunky.
  4. Gently fold in the diced tomato until evenly distributed. Taste for seasoning, adding additional lime juice and/or salt if necessary (note: if you’re serving this with salted tortilla chips, taste the guacamole on one of those to ensure you don’t oversalt – if the chips are particularly salty, you may not need to add more salt to the guac). Finely chop the cilantro and fold it in just before serving.
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See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • onetribegourmet
  • lapadia
  • lastnightsdinner
  • mrslarkin
  • thirschfeld

21 Reviews

JJ April 24, 2015
onetribegourmet January 22, 2011
Love Guacamole!
lapadia January 19, 2011
Excellent, LND, and it looks like I can dip from my screen, great photo! Sometimes I do tomatoes, a great addition, and the citrus helps with the avocado browning. BTW, love you short rib chili, too!
lastnightsdinner January 19, 2011
Wow, thanks, everyone! uriattia, I have not gone tomato-less, mainly because I like the additional flavor and texture they provide - plus, that pop of color is nice, too :)
uriattia January 19, 2011
This looks awesome, Jennifer. I'm giving this a shot ASAP. Thanks!

Have you ever gone tomatoless? A friend made me some the other day and, while I'm generally pro-tomato it's got me at least considering the possibility.
mrslarkin January 19, 2011
Yum. I'm gonna need a bib.
thirschfeld January 19, 2011
I see a home made corn chip shoveling out a big scoop of this. I'll try not to get any on the carpet. I am a firm believer in guac snobbery
drbabs January 18, 2011
This looks fabulous.
TheWimpyVegetarian January 18, 2011
I think I could just have this for lunch and be a very happy girl, chips optional! Looks really great!!!
emily_shay January 18, 2011
Love it; this is almost the recipe my mom taught me (sans cilantro) and agreed, mayo/sour cream are nonstarters.
MyCommunalTable January 17, 2011
It must be hard not to eat the whole recipe in one sitting. Love it!
littleclove January 17, 2011

I have been making mediocre guac for years and finally feel like I've come close to finding a recipe that I'm pretty close to loving. I make mine almost exactly the way you do, but I add a teaspoon of cumin, which I feel really makes it. It dawned on me recently that cumin was probably my missing ingredient. I'm curious to know how you feel about that. I'm hoping I'm not treading into mayo-sour cream waters! ;-)
hardlikearmour January 17, 2011
This looks like perfect guacamole.
Midge January 17, 2011
My guac is always hastily thrown together and never really wows, but I know where to look next time I make it!
pixelatedcrumb January 17, 2011
The mere mention of mayo or sour cream in guac horrifies me. It's such a cop out and a total slap in the face to avacados if you ask me.

I never, ever measure anything when I make guacamole. I generally add a bunch of stuff, taste it, and add more as necessary. And I know that some people absolutely detest cilantro, but like you said, it doesn't seem to bother people in guacamole. I think there's something about the avocado that just eats up strong flavors. I have friends that don't like things even remotely spicy and were horrified to see how many jalapenos I put in mine, but they were completely fine with it in the end. If I know that I'm not serving it to anyone who's afraid of cilantro or spice, I put a whooole lotta cilantro and peppers in :)
deensiebat January 17, 2011
Why do people ever make guacamole without garlic? It is the secret weapon.
lastnightsdinner January 17, 2011
Exactly :D
Lizthechef January 17, 2011
You could open a gauc stand here in avocado-land. How did the tortillas come out?
lastnightsdinner January 17, 2011
LOL, Liz :) The tortillas were great - I was very pleased with my first attempt! Will have to make them a little bigger next time, though, and I'd love to use some of the great leaf lard we have in them, too.
Minimally I. January 17, 2011
Can't wait to try this! I agree with every single thing you said in your notes; my guacamole is very hit-or-miss because I never measure anything, so the balance is always off. :)
lastnightsdinner January 17, 2011
Thanks, Amy! I've been making this for so long I can usually eyeball it and know when it's where I want it to be, bud I did make a batch and measure last night, just to be certain ;)