Why This Recipe Works
To make a smooth guacamole without relying on the coarse surface of a molcajete, a three-legged Mexican mortar made of volcanic rock, we minced the onion and chile by hand with kosher salt; the coarse crystals broke down the aromatics, releasing their juices and flavors and transforming them into a paste that was easy to combine with the avocado and other ingredients. (The salt will also help the aromatics break down in a regular mortar and pestle.) A bit of lime zest added further brightness without acidity. We used a whisk to mix and mash the avocado into the paste, creating a creamy but still chunky dip. Chopped tomato and cilantro added fruity flavor and freshness.