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Whip up our best basic guacamole and prepare to dip, dollop and smear that goodness on everything.

Food Republic’s best basic guacamole recipe keeps it simple. You’ve got your avocados, your cilantro, lime juice, and our old friend the jalapeño. Plus garlic, salt, and tomatoes, diced. That’s it.

Could you add a teaspoon of salsa, a dollop of sour cream, a dusting of chili powder? Yeah, sure. The nice thing about guac is that you can experiment with it and make it a signature dish.

The only real ground rules are that you want to use avocados that are just ripe enough but not so ripe that they’re mushy, and you should make guacamole only about 15 minutes prior to serving, using that time to give it a slight chill in the fridge. Any longer, and it’ll likely turn brown. If that’s a concern, finish the guac with an extra squeeze of lime juice. You can also leave one of the pits in the bowl until it’s ready to serve, to ward off discoloration.

Of course, guacamole is probably best served with tortilla chips, but it can also make a tasty garnish or addition to burritos, nachos — any Mexican dish, really — or a flavorful richness in a sandwich or wrap.

Any way you mash it, making guacamole is one of the easiest, most satisfying kitchen tricks to master, so why not try it today?