the experiment: avocado and mango salsa
I’m always on the hunt to find foods that I think my kids will eat – and eat happily without a lot of whining and complaining. Of course, that stipulation makes it very challenging to be successful. I heard recently that a friend of mine had some luck with getting her kids to eat mango, so I decided to give it a whirl – a little experiment, you might say. We don’t typically buy mango, and I can’t say my kids had ever eaten the fruit prior to this. It’s not a fruit that I grew up with, so I don’t gravitate towards it in the grocery store.
Instead of just chopping up mango as a snack, though, I wanted to use it as a side dish with dinner. I found a recipe from Bon Appètit for an avocado and mango salsa, and I decided to go for it. My son loves guacamole, so I figured this would be a no brainer.
I mostly followed the recipe as it was written, but to make it a little more friendly to the children’s palates, I reduced the amount of jalapeño in the dish. Instead of dicing one entire jalapeño, I used a little less than half of the jalapeño. I threw this together relatively quickly while I was preparing and cooking some grouper to serve the salsa with, so my diced vegetables were more on the lines of coarsely chopped. Unfortunately, the avocado was a bit too ripe, so the pieces of avocado didn’t keep their shape as much as I would have liked.
But, when it was completed, I thought it was a delicious salsa. Not pretty, but very tasty – with a nice balance of sweetness and some kick from the jalapeño.
I served the salsa over some sauteed grouper. And, just on the off chance the kids decided they didn’t like the avocado and mango salsa, I made some oven fries to go along with it.
Turns out that it’s a good thing I made those potatoes. Madeline took one bite of an avocado piece in the salsa and refused to eat any more of it. And in his typical 3-year old fashion, Oliver refused to eat it because it was green.
So, while the salsa was not quite the popular side dish I’d hoped it would be, the grouper and the oven fries were the clear winners of the meal. I’m not giving up on getting the kids to eat mango and avocado yet, though. I can’t be beaten that easily.
Avocado & Mango Salsa
Only slightly adapted from this recipe from Bon Appètit on Epicurious. I used less jalapeño than the original recipe called for, and I also forgot the mint. It tasted just fine without it, actually.
1 mango, peeled, pitted, and diced
1 large avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced
1 large shallot, chopped
1/2 jalapeño chile, seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Mix all ingredients in bowl and season to taste with salt. Cover and chill. Can be made up to two hours before serving.