When I turned in my book manuscript last year, I couldn’t believe that I’d accidentally written more than would fit in the final book’s pages! Perhaps it’s a better problem to have too much to say than too little, but it meant that I had to go through the arduous process of deciding which recipes and photos to cut… which was really tough since I’d become attached to every single one during the process. This smoky mango & avocado salsa was one that got edited out of the final book, but it’s still one of my very favorite ways to kickoff a Mexican-inspired dinner party. Thought it would be perfect to share as y’all are planning Cinco de Mayo menus!
When I was growing up, my granddad always made homemade salsa from the tomatoes he grew on his back porch, and I’ll never forget how much fresher and zestier it tasted that anything you could get from a jar. I wanted to create a smoky twist on the classic by lightly cooking the tomatoes with chipotle chilies, then adding sweet mango and creamy avocado for a totally unexpected flavor combination that’s sure to garner raves.
*photos by Buff Strickland
- 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
- Kosher salt
- 1 large, ripe but still firm avocado, pitted and chopped
- 1/2 white onion, chopped
- 1 mango, chopped
- 1/2 minced jalapeño
- juice of 2 limes
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- In a small skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add shallot and sauté for 30 seconds, then add 1/2 cup of the halved cherry tomatoes. Season with salt and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add the chipotle, then sauté for 3 minutes more. Transfer to a fairly large bowl and let cool completely.
- Add avocado, onion, jalapeño, mango, lime juice and cilantro. Gently fold all the ingredients together, then season with a bit more salt to taste and a few cilantro leaves. Serve with tortilla chips, fresh veggies and lime wedges. Or, just eat right out of the bowl with a fork.