Guacamole

Makes 2 to 4 servings
Time: 10 minutes

Among the most delicious dips there is, and just about the simplest. Add one-half cup peeled, cored, seeded, and diced tomato only if the tomato is perfectly ripe.

1 large or 2 small avocado(s)

Cut the avocado(s) in half and reserve the pit(s) if you will not be serving the guacamole right away. Mash the pulp in a bowl with a fork or potato masher, along with the onion or shallot, garlic (if you are using it), chile or chili powder, a little salt and pepper, and 1 tablespoon of lemon or lime juice. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.

Garnish and serve, or tuck the pit(s) back into the mixture, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to 4 hours (this will keep the guacamole from turning brown). Remove the pit(s) before garnishing and serving.