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  • SERVINGS: Makes about 4 cups

This traditional appetizer and condiment for fiesta-goers in Mexico is the starting point for most North Americans' exploration of Mexican cooking. The avocados must be ripe, yielding easily to a squeeze; if they're too firm, you can always let them ripen in a paper bag on the counter for a few days.

Rick Bayless accompanies this radish-garnished version with tortilla chips or sliced jicama and cucumber, but he doubts anyone needs more ideas about how to serve gaucamole.

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  1. 1 large ripe tomato, finely diced
  2. 2 serrano chiles, minced
  3. 1 large garlic clove, minced
  4. 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  5. 1 medium white onion, finely diced
  6. 3 large ripe avocados
  7. 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  8. Salt
  9. Radish slices, for garnish
  1. In a medium bowl mix the tomato with the chiles, garlic and cilantro. Stir in the onion.
  2. Peel and seed the avocados and scoop the flesh into a medium bowl. Mash against the side of the bowl, leaving some chunks. Add the tomato mixture and lime juice and season with salt. Let sit for a few minutes, then garnish with radish slices and serve.