Guacamole, my way

Using a molcajete – a rustic Mexican mortar and pestle – to grind onions, chiles and cilantro to a paste results in guacamole with superb, deep flavor. Want to make it ahead? Don't – it's best eaten right away. But if you seed and chop the serranos and chop the white onion and tomato in advance, you've done most of the work. Just before serving, chop the cilantro and proceed with the fun.

Makes about 2 cups


3 serrano chiles, seeded and finely chopped

4 heaping tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro plus cilantro leaves for garnish

3/4 teaspoon salt or to taste

1/3 cup finely chopped white onion

3 large or 4 small ripe avocados 

1/2 cup finely chopped ripe tomato

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice or more to taste


In a molcajete, grind together the chiles, chopped cilantro, salt and all but a heaping tablespoon of the onions to a paste.

Halve the avocados, remove their pits and spoon their flesh into the molcajete. Mash the avocado into the onion-chile mixture until it nearly, but not completely, smooth – it's nice if it still has some lumps. Stir in the tomatoes and lime juice and adjust the seasoning.  Garnish with the cilantro leaves and reserved chopped onions, and serve with tortilla chips.