Ruth’s Salsa & Guacamole

My friend Ruth Chavez is from El Salvador, and she makes the best salsa and guacamole. One thing Ruth insists upon is chopping the tomatoes by hand rather than using a food processor.  She likes her salsa pretty salty too, so if you’re hesitant to use that much, just salt to taste.  There’s no firm salsa-rule here. Ruth swears by the method of placing the avocado pit into the guacamole to keep it from turning brown; I find that pressing plastic wrap directly onto the surface works just as well. But what do I know, I’m Swiss Irish.


4 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. cilantro, diced
2 serrano peppers, seeded and diced
Juice of 2 limes
2 t. salt (or to taste)

1. Hand chop tomatoes, onion, cilantro and peppers and combing in a large bowl.

2. Add lime juice and salt to taste. Allow to sit for a few minutes.


5 avocados
1 serrano pepper, seeded and diced
Juice from salsa
Juice of 1 lime

1. With a slotted serving spoon, scoop the salsa into another empty bowl, leaving behind the juice that has formed and a few solids from the salsa.  Cut the avocados in half and remove pits. Using a spoon, scoop the avocados into the reserved salsa juice and then mash them with a potato masher.

2. If you like your guacamole spicy, add the additional serrano pepper. Also add the juice of another lime and salt to taste.

NOTE: Ruth uses 5 avocados because Costco, which Ruth thinks has the best avocados, sells them in bags of 5. You can use fewer avocados for a smaller crowd.

Serrano peppers are smaller and hotter than jalapeno peppers and can be found in the same area of the produce department. When cutting and seeding them be careful not to touch your eyes, as they can burn.