A “Pear-Shaped” Mango-Fig-Avocado Salsa

Several years ago, a colleague/friend from another college asked me for a letter of reference for a Dean’s job, and in our back-and-forthing about it, he used the expression “pear-shaped” (as in, “…and if this whole thing goes pear-shaped, I still have my current position to lean back on”). I’d never heard the expression, but thought at the time it was the most marvellous expression I’d ever heard. To “go pear-shaped” means “to go (badly) wrong, to go awry.”  I’m surprised I’d never heard it since it’s apparently a Britishism and, more particularly, an RAF expression (and both my parents served in the RAF during the Second World War).

In any event, a few days ago, a neighbour brought over some lovely peppers and tomatoes…along with a handful of small green pear-shaped things, and (like the expression “pear-shaped”) I had absolutely no idea what they were.

Figs. They were figs.


So, as it turns out, I have not only vegetable dyslexia, but fruit dyslexia as well.

I ate one, and it was very good, but INSANELY sweet, so I figured I’d save the other three until I found a good recipe for them, and today I found one (well, two, as it turns out).

The recipe I finally decided upon was a mango, fig, and avocado salsa. I settled on it because I had all the ingredients and exactly THREE figs. But I was also humming and hawing about another one–a tomato-fig salsa–so I had both tabs open on my Macbook before finally deciding on the mango, fig, and avocado salsa. I started to make the salsa and was well into it…when my e-mail pinged and I stopped to check it.

And that’s when things went pear-shaped.

After checking my e-mail (yet another message from the Green Party asking for $$), I inadvertently went back to the wrong recipe and started adding things that didn’t seem quite right (like garlic, lime zest, balsamic vinegar).

And yet…the salsa turned out surprisingly well–very fresh and delicious!!

Here we go:

Mango, Fig, and Avocado Salsa 

  • 1 mango, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • ½ semi-firm avocado, cubed
  • 3 figs, chopped
  • ¼ red onion, thinly diced
  • 1 TBS cilantro, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 TBS lime juice
  • zest of one lime
  • 1 TBS balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • ½ tsp salt, or to preference

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the avocado last and toss gently. Serve with tortilla chips.


20/10: would do again in a New-York minute!




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