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
Kosher salt


Mix all ingredients in bowl and season to taste with salt. Cover and chill. Can be made up to two hours before serving.

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12 Responses to “the experiment: avocado and mango salsa”

  1. 1

    I will come over for dinner at your house and eat that amazing salsa! Looks great!

  2. 2
    Joy — June 23, 2010 @ 11:47 am

    That looks great. I like the combination of mango and avocados.

  3. 3
    Kristen — June 23, 2010 @ 11:49 am

    I have a bowl of homemade mango salsa sitting in my fridge for tonight’s dinner (jerk chicken), but I hadn’t thought of adding avocado. It sounds like a great addition.

  4. 4
    Magic of Spice — June 23, 2010 @ 4:15 pm

    Sounds great and healthy too. I think it looks pretty:)

  5. 5
    Brian @ A Thought For Food — June 23, 2010 @ 5:32 pm

    Yup… as soon as I saw the title for your post, I knew I’d love it. I bet this would be wonderful over grilled swordfish. Wonderful post!

  6. 6
    ++MIRA++ — June 23, 2010 @ 10:06 pm

    hey, the more you try the closer to success u’ll be! i know love all the foods my mum always tried to make me eat. looks good.

  7. 7

    Does your son like balsamic vinegar?

    In our house, we have cherry balsamic vineger from O&Co. It’s delicious!

    Cut avocado in half, take out the seed, pour in some balsamic vinegar, then top with grind of salt and pepper. Really good snack w/ 10g fiber. 😀


    And for the record, I would have eaten your dinner. 😉

    • 7.1
      merrygourmet — June 24, 2010 @ 8:29 am

      Kim – You have me drooling here with that avocado recipe. 🙂

  8. 8
    CC Recipe — June 24, 2010 @ 9:48 am

    Thanks for the inspiration, I am gonna give this a try on my kiddos:)

  9. 9
    Liren — June 24, 2010 @ 10:32 am

    Aw, it’s too bad that the kids didn’t like the mango! The salsa looks fantastic and I would gladly eat it up! if it makes you feel better, while my kids can sit and eat piles of mangoes, they prefer them plain, and ideally the sweeter variety called Champagne or Manila mangoes. I’m sure if presented in the salsa, they would’ve turned on the picky switch, too!

    Oh well! It was a great try and it looks and sounds SO delicious!!!

  10. 10
    Sasha — June 25, 2010 @ 9:50 am

    You poor mommies out there! Constantly struggling to find something to cook that your kids will like! All of you deserve medals for this task.
    I’ve always detested avocados myself, until very recently, and now I only eat them in guacamole form. But I must say, this recipe is very intriguing. I should try it and maybe it’ll broaden my forbidden avocado horizons : )

  11. 11

    This looks perfect for summer and I will be making it very soon… I also only started eating avocados in my 20s… couldn’t stand them as a child.

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