Cinco de Mayo! | May 4, 2017

If you are like me, the 5th of May represents a day when I can eat as much guacamole as I want with no judgment!  And, of course, enjoy a margarita or two (or four).

My favorite way to make guacamole is to actually start by making pico de gallo or fresh salsa.  Both are very easy to make and once you make them yourself, you will be hard pressed to ever eat store-bought again.  I learned how to make both pico de gallo and guacamole from an older woman who lived up the street from me in Los Angeles.  Hers is still the best I have ever tasted.

Pico de gallo is simply chopped tomatoes, white onion, and fresh cilantro, seasoned with salt, pepper, and freshly-squeezed lime juice.  You can add jalapenos or habaneros if you like, too.   I like to use fresh, ripe Roma tomatoes for my pico de gallo.  For 2-4 servings, use 3 Roma tomatoes, ½ onion, ½ of a juicy lime, and a generous handful of cilantro.  I try to cut the onion into smaller pieces than the tomato for a texture difference, then rough-chop the cilantro.  Once the tomatoes, onion, and cilantro are in the bowl, stir them together with a Tovolo Mini Spatula and then squeeze in the fresh lime juice.  As the ingredients sit together, the taste only gets better, so my suggestion is that you make the pico de gallo a few hours before you want to use it.

Why did I make the pico de gallo first?  Because I like to add a little of the pico de gallo to my avocados when making guacamole! The flavors of the pico marry really nicely with the avocados. If you like a little tomato, onion, and cilantro in your guacamole, then you get two dips for the work of one!  Win-win!

For the guacamole, you want to start with two ripe but firm avocados.  If they are too ripe, they tend to have a strange texture; if they are not ripe enough, they are hard to mash and taste like unripe bananas.  I know so many people who think they don’t like guacamole because they have never had a properly made one.  (Side note: some restaurants add sour cream to their guacamole to make it go further – please do not do this!  It is just wrong!)  Using the Tovolo Avocado Knife’s serrated blade, slice the avocados in half, lengthwise.  Then, using the pitter on the knife, remove the avocado pit and discard.  Scoop out the fruit of the avocado by sliding the Tovolo Avocado Knife’s rounded edge between the fruit and skin to gently lift the whole half out of the avocado skin.  Cut away and discard any black or very soft blemishes in the avocado fruit.  Place the fruit in a small bowl and, using the slits in the top of the Tovolo Avocado knife, mash the avocado until mostly mashed with a few lumpy bits.  For two avocados, I add about ¼ cup of the pico de gallo and the juice of the other half of the lime to the mashed avocados.  Give it a good stir, then taste to see if you prefer a little more lime and a dash of salt & pepper.  Voila!  Perfect Guacamole!

Final rules for a great Cinco de Mayo:

  • Do not skimp on the quality of your tortilla chips!
  • Eat as much guacamole as you possibly can.
  • Make sure to use real lime juice in ALL your margaritas.
  • Definitely dance to a mariachi band!


SERVES 2-4   |  PREP TIME  35 minutes  |  PRINT PDF


Pico de Gallo

  • 3 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 3 Tbs. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


  • 2 ripe avocados, mashed
  • 1/4 cup pico de gallo
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • Salt & Pepper to taste



Pico de Gallo

  • Stir the tomatoes, onion, lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper together in a bowl. Refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving.


  • Peel and mash avocados in a serving bowl. Stir in previously made pico de gallo, lime juice, salt and pepper into mashed avocados. Chill for 30-60 minutes to blend flavors.