My family (Sophie's, that is) is going to Mexico for a holiday, largely propelled by one daughter's insatiable appetite for guacamole. I only wish I was joking. This is one expensive dip.

But it's not completely lunatic. I would happily go a long way for a good guac. It's so universally pleasing and versatile: make it chunky and it's a salad for spice-rubbed grilled fish; blitz it smooth and it's a dip for prawns; land anywhere in the middle and you have a taco-stuffing, corn-chip-dipping side/spread/garnish for a million dishes. What makes it so special - aside from the name which, apparently, should be pronounced more like hwacamole, with a sort of cat-with-a-furball hoik on the first syllable - is that it manages to be both creamy and tangy, cooling and fiery. What a contradictory little bowlful it is, to be sure.

Everyone has their favourite recipe. I've included tomato here but I most often make it without. Experiment and see what you like best. To me, the essentials are great avocados, salt and heaps of lime. The rest is mere detail.


2 ripe avocados, flesh only
0.5-1 clove garlic, minced
1 tomato, deseeded and finely chopped
1/4 bunch coriander, leaves and stalks finely chopped
Juice of 1-2 limes
1-2 tsp pickled jalapenos. roughly chopped
White parts of 1-2 spring onions, finely sliced
Generous pinch of salt


Place all ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Use a fork or, better still, a potato masher to bring it all together into a chunky salsa. Keep going if you'd like it smoother - but we do like a bit of rough in our guac. Serve with enchiladas, chilli con carne, quesadillas, fish fillets, grilled chicken... or just corn chips and beer.

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