• Guacamole with Pistachios & Smoked Cashew Salsa


Trust Me, You’ll Want to Double These Recipes

By Alex Stupak 


Guacamole with Pistachios & Smoked Cashew Salsa


Smoked Cashew Salsa

  • 1 handful wood chips for smoking, preferably applewood but use whatever is convenient
  • 5 ounces cashews
  • 8 ounces water
  • 2 canned chipotle chiles, seeded and de-veined
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Guacamole with Pistachios

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup hulled pistachio seeds
  • kosher salt, as needed
  • 1 small white onion
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 jalapeños
  • 3 ripe Hass avocados
  • 2 limes


Smoked Cashew Salsa

Makes about 1 ½ cups

I gained my appreciation for smoking ingredients other than meat from Wylie Dufresne, who smokes everything from quail eggs to maple syrup. When we first opened Empellón Taquería, we wanted to serve table salsas with our chips and guacamole. Some are very much replications of authentic recipes and others are originals that we still feel very much have a place in a Mexican restaurant. I get asked more for this recipe than any other so it feels appropriate to share. Other than the fact that you’ll be smoking out your home if you can’t do this outdoors, it’s incredibly convenient to make. This makes about a cup and a half. You may want to scale up as it keeps well in the fridge and tastes good on just about everything—Mexican or otherwise.


Soak the wood chips in water for 20 minutes and drain. Set a deep cast iron Dutch oven over a burner and place the wood chips in a pile in the center of it.

In a colander small enough to fit inside the Dutch oven, place the cashews and set it inside the Dutch oven. The cashews in the colander should be elevated above the wood chips.

Turn the burner on medium heat.  At the first wisp of smoke, turn off the heat, place a lid on the Dutch oven and smoke the cashews for 20 minutes.

In the meantime, cut the chipotles in half lengthwise and set aside.

Remove the cashews from the Dutch oven. Pour water over the wood chips to stop them from smoldering.

In a blender, place the cashews and add the water, followed by the chipotles, salt and sugar.

Puree the ingredients until smooth. Store the salsa in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep for a week.

Guacamole with Pistachios

Serves 4-6

Guacamole is often embellished upon with interesting garnishes but pistachios just might make the most interesting one yet. My favorite flavor is crunchy and the roasted pistachios add a second version of this beyond the ubiquitous tortilla chip. This guacamole is minimal and meant to focus on the unique flavor combination.


Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan or skillet.  Add the pistachios and lightly toast them for 2 minutes.  Remove the pistachios from the oil and drain them on a plate lined with paper towels.  Season them with salt.  Reserve the oil and allow to cool at room temperature.

Peel and mince the onion.  You only need a ¼ cup of minced onion, so you may need to reserve some for another use.  Place the minced onion in a basket strainer and rinse under cold running water for several minutes.  Drain the onions and set aside.

Pick about 70 of the best leaves you can form the cilantro bunch.  Leave half of them whole and just barely chop the other half.

Cut the top off of the jalapeños and cut them into quarters.  Lay each quarter flat and cut away the seeds and white veins.  Mince the jalapeños and set aside.

Cut open the avocados and remove their pits.  Scoop the flesh out of the avocados and into a bowl using a spoon.  Mash the avocados with either a small potato masher or even a whisk.  Make sure the avocado still retains its texture.

Juice the limes and pour it over the guacamole.  Add ¾ of the pistachios to the bowl, along with the minced onion, chopped cilantro and minced jalapeño.  Season the mixture with salt and gently fold the mixture together.

Transfer the guacamole to a serving bowl and garnish with the whole cilantro leaves and remaining pistachios.  Drizzle the guacamole with a teaspoon of the reserved olive oil that was used to toast the pistachios.  Serve the guacamole with tortilla chips.

Like this recipe? You may also enjoy:

Recipe Finder

Related Recipes


Main Ingredients



Back to Recipes Page