Published by Amy Snyder.

Guacamole is seemingly simple. Just mashed avocado and a few other ingredients, right?

Yes and no. It’s true that the main ingredient in guacamole—avocado—is always consistent, but everything else is up for debate. Some people add lemon juice, while others add lime. Some use onion and cilantro, while others opt for garlic and peppers. Some people get really wild by adding cayenne or chili powder, while we purists opt for just salt.

I’ve conducted numerous experiments in my kitchen, testing all the above ingredients in an endless number of combinations, and I’ve found that you get the best results when you keep it simple.

The most important part of making good guacamole is finding the perfect avocado. Look for dark-skinned avocados that give slightly when you push them with your thumb, and make sure that there are no spots that are overly soft.

Here are a few more tips for great guacamole:

•To avoid browning, leave the pits in while storing and preparing avocadoes.

•If you think that your guacamole needs more salt, try adding more lemon juice first. People often think of salt as the only solution for a dish lacking in flavor, but many times, a recipe is just in need of more acid to balance the flavors.

•Chop the avocado into a large dice and combine all the ingredients gently. It’s nice to find chunks of avocado in the creamy mixture.

My taste buds tend to think that the combination of lemon, garlic, jalapeño, salt, and a small amount of diced tomato added in right at the end is what makes the perfect guacamole. Tell me what yours think.

4 medium ripe avocados, peeled and diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
Juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp. minced jalapeño
Sea salt, to taste
1/4 cup diced tomato

•In a large bowl, combine the avocado, garlic, lemon juice, and jalapeño. Season with the salt.

•Gently stir in the diced tomato and serve.

Makes 3 1/2 cups

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