Guacamole was created by the Aztecs in Mexico. It is made by mashing ripe avocados with a molcajete granite mortar and pestle with sea salt to make a thick sauce. Mantequilla de pobre (translated as “poor-man’s butter”) is a mixture of avocado, tomato, oil, and citrus juice. It predates the arrival of cattle in the Americas. There is a very important textural thing to guacamole — never really mush up the avocado. You want to feel everything, nice and chunky. Many cooks like a dash of ground cumin added. Makes about 1 3/4 cups

1 tablespoon minced fresh serrano or jalapeno chile, including seeds, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, divided
1 large or 2 small ripe Mexican Hass avocados, halved and pitted
A squeeze of lime

Mash the 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.
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.
Guacamole with Fresh Fruit: Fold in the seeds from one pomegranate (about 3/4 cup) or 1 cup fresh grapefruit sections.

Creamy Guacamole: Add 3 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise (Vegenaise) or sour cream. There’s really no competition as far as taste goes, in my opinion, amongst egg-free mayonnaise brands. Vegenaise is it. Vegenaise comes in four varieties: original, grapeseed oil, organic, and expeller-pressed. They are all very similar in taste.

Black Bean Guacamole

Avocados are one of my favorite foods. Now that avocados are considered a superfood and one of the best types of fat to eat, anything avocado is able to be served every day. Avocado pairs with black beans and traditional guacamole ingredients for a rich and textured black bean avocado dip recipe. Serve with chips, or use to top Mexican burritos, tacos or even for a guacamole veggie burger.

5 avocados, diced
2 limes, juiced
1/2 to 1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (or more)
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed (Eden brand)
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place the avocados and lime juice into a large bowl. Mash avocados to a coarse puree. Stir in tomatoes, cilantro and beans.
Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with assorted dippers such as toasted whole wheat pita bread triangles or multi-grain tortilla chips. Makes about 4 cups