Adventures in Culinary Assembly Or, Spicy Avocado Chutney

I went to New Orleans last week and did a lot of this:


So, upon returning I decided that it was time for a little detox.

I signed up for yoga, I upped my water intake (a quart a day as opposed to the…nothing a day I was drinking) and I decided to eat more raw vegetables.

You would think that this wouldn’t be a problem for a vegetarian, right? I mean, what the hell do vegetarians eat if not shitloads of raw vegetables?

We eat bread, dudes. We eat bread and fried okra and great big slices of pizza where the mozzarella melts into the sauce giving it this transcendent creamy quality and risotto with fistfuls of parmesan and chilaquiles and cheese fries and ALL THINGS DELICIOUS.

You know what I don’t eat? Baby carrots sticks dunked in hummus or low-fat ranch dressing because they taste like crushing loneliness.

Luckily, my favorite food in this world happens to be The Good Salad.

The Good Salad is not one of those wanky afterthoughts with bagged iceberg, some watery tomatoes and bottled Italian.

It is the Garden of Eden in a bowl.
It is rife and resplendent with a bountiful cornucopia of different tastes and textures.
It is a night with George Clooney as it will leave you happy and completely satisfied.

I whipped one up tonight for dinner and figured Southwestern was a good way to go because Southwestern is always a good way to go. I made a quick salsa (tomatoes, corn, onion, lime juice and salt) and tossed it in a bowl with some black beans and kale.


So far, so good.

I had no clue how to dress the thing so I did what all grown adults do when confronted with an issue.

I called my mom.

I know everyone thinks their mom is a great cook but mine is pretty much an alchemist when it comes to spices. She makes a lilli chutney (the green stuff made of coriander) so delicious, I would punch you in the throat to get at it…and I like you. And her pickled lemons? I cannot even.

I lose the ability to even when confronted with the glory that are pickled lemons.

So, I call Mom and we have the following conversation.

Me: So, I got the stuff for the salad but I don’t know what to do about the dressing. I think I want it to be like that avocado salsa from Tacos al Carbon.
Mom (with barely-conceal disgust in her voice because Mom doesn’t trust “outside food” much less “outside food” that came from a sketchy taco truck): I don’t know what that is.
Me: Think lili chutney but with avocados.
Mom: Oh, that’s easier than lili chutney. Buy the avocado and I’ll make it for you.

Ethnic mothers – they exist to feed their offspring.

So, to make Mom’s Avocado Chutney, you will need:


1 avocado
1/2 jalapeno pepper (ours was hot)
1/4 cup cilantro (not pictured)
Lime juice to taste
Salt and sugar (not pictured)

Stick all ingredients in a blender and hit puree. It’s gonna be pretty thick so drizzle in small amounts of water until you reach the desired consistency. Some people like a thicker chutney while others prefer something a little more runny.

Yeah. It’s that easy.

I drizzled it over my salad and like most things that come out of my mom’s kitchen – it was magical.


The finished product is fresh, bright, spicy and creamy – it’s a delicious condiment and involves way less petty theft than me stealing plastic drizzle bottles from my local taco joint…which I’ve considered doing on numerous occasions.

If you’re looking to detox from the holidays but also want to eat like a goddamn boss – make The Good Salad. There are no rules to it – it’s organized chaos. In a bowl. That you can eat.

Cuckoo for cukes? Toss ’em in there.
Chickpeas make your skirt fly up? Crack open a can, drain that bastard and go to town.
Dig on some celery? Dude, no. Just no. What’s wrong with you, man? Celery tastes good IN things but you don’t eat it raw. Jesus…

If you decide to make the spicy avocado chutney, please let me know so I can tell Mom. She’ll be kind of stoked to know that people who read, “that thing on the internet where you curse too much,” like her more than they like me.

Just like real life.

Eat well. Be happy.

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