Eat your vegetables Part 2: Avocado-mayo dip

~Eat Your Vegetables: A series of unknown length and direction on how to get more vegetables into your life. Part 1 here.~


Rose took this picture. Am I licking my fingers? Only Rose knows.

It occurred to me today that all the things we’re always harping on  kindly reminding the kids about will someday be completely part of who they are. I’m not sure exactly how it happens, but chances are Col and Rose will grow up to be well-mannered adults with lovely social graces and acceptable dinner table manners.

I’m imagining Dan and I visiting Rose in Kauai (where she’s reportedly opening a bakery/surf-lessons shop), all of us nibbling on the house specialty: grain-free pineapple tart. Whole conversations will unspool, lob around the table like a tennis ball, and then quietly retreat without anyone jumping in with the next pressing and wholly unrelated thought.

It’s almost the opposite now, as if my children have some switch that flips on just as an adult is beginning to talk. Now, it says, now is the best time to tell everyone about how you and Dewa were ponies and her name was Skitter and you loved purple best. My mother said recently, “maybe we should hire a babysitter before we start a conversation.”

hh- lard2

And now I’m thinking of Col, (who, if things go according to his current plans, will be living downstairs at 18). He’ll  join us for dinner every night. We’ll cook his favorite, something with elk and wild mushrooms, and he’ll use a utensil to transfer food from plate to mouth for the entire meal. I can totally see it: all of us sitting in our chairs. Eating. With forks.

However, today Rose asked me to write on our family meeting agenda: “how to tell when Mama pauses because she’s done talking,” which is hopeful.


Life-changing. You think I’m exaggerating? Bits of green = parsley.

So, I’m just going to go ahead and say it: this avocado-mayonnaise will change your life. Because really, homemade mayo is revelation enough on its own without adding a fruit that went to fat camp. This dip is the word that “mouthfeel” was created to describe. I picture its relationship with vegetables to be a little like Hugh Hefner’s with his Bunnies, which is to say it’s hard to choose a favorite! We like it on shredded raw cabbage, as a dip for raw carrots or celery or steamed broccoli, on top of roasted veggies, plopped on a heap of lettuce or greens, or (confession) as naked spoonfuls for bedtime snack.

I’m also thinking that if Rose moves to Kauai (where the avocados grows as big as your head) she will totally start making this avocado-mayonnaise, despite the fact that she told her friend Daphne, apologetically, last time I made this (which was yesterday, while the two girls punched numbers on calculators and exclaimed, “oh look, I just got a text from Alex!”) “I do like mayonnaise, but mostly the kind from the store.”

I’ve begun picturing Dan’s and my dotage as this endless meal in which we eat avocado-mayonnaise on enormous salads, heaps of sauteed kale and onions, and generally console our empty-nesting selves with all the foods our kids are currently suspicious of. (Talk about rekindling the old flame).

The recipe comes from my friend Jennifer, who knows how uplifting it is to fall in love with your food.






yolk of one egg (at room temp)

1/2 cup olive oil

1 TBSP apple cider vinegar or juice of 1 lime or both, which is really amazing

1 avocado

1 clove garlic

1/4 – 1/2 tsp salt

fresh herbs optional

Blend (in blender, food processor, immersion stick blender, or by hand) egg yolk, vinegar, lime, salt and garlic for 30 seconds. Add olive oil slowly, just drips at first until it all starts to emulsify, but try to blend for no longer than one minute (Tamar Adler is right that excessive blending of olive oil can make it bitter). Add avocado for another 30 seconds. Done. Transfer to fridge where it holds up well for one week.

p.s. Are you dying to know how our interactive Halloween play went? In which Col and Rose fore-went trick or treating to hob nob with elves and will’0’wisps while munching vegan coconut fudge around a fire with buddies? That post soon.



Stilllife with lunch and battered coffee mug.


22 thoughts on “Eat your vegetables Part 2: Avocado-mayo dip”

  1. Okay, I detest mayo but you’ve inspired me to give this a try. I’m convinced it’ll improve the Jerusalem artichoke fritters I tried to impose on a doubting family yesterday,….

    1. It will, it will. Also, store bought mayo is really nothing like the homemade garlicky, lemony stuff (although I’m pretty smitten with store-bought, too).

  2. ooo, this recipe looks great! i have yet to do your homemade mayo, but this might be the prompt…even though here in cali avo season is over. the only as big as my head are the kabocha squash.

    also, jeff and i have given up trying to have an adult conversation. we have an overstuffed mental file of “things to talk about after she’s 18”. i so feel you mama.

    and, col. look at that pic. so beautiful!

  3. Yum, I’ve never tried it on roasted veggies!! It’s also good on hamburgers, homemade fish sticks or chicken strips and salmon cakes. Pretty much anything you put it on makes it twice as edible.

    1. Totally. I almost wrote about all the meats I like the avo-mayo on: inside a slice of rolled up turkey, mixed into canned tuna or salmon, as a dip for grilled vension steaks….But felt like I had to live up to my veggies claims.

  4. Rachel, this is totally delicious.

    (And I don’t mean the recipe ;o)

    In fact I really don’t like mayonnaise – and garlic even less – so it’s a testament to your lyrical powers that right after reading your recipe I just had to go to the kitchen and eat, religiously, with a spoon, the organic avocado I was saving for my salad.


  5. Also, what I religiously ate with a spoon was your description of Col and Rose’s present and future selves. Irresistible.

  6. I only have one child, but yes, I completely understand your predicament. He’s going on 16 and I’m STILL waiting to be able to finish a conversation (sentence, even) and/or witness him using a fork to eat his whole dinner. It could happen! I’m holding on to hope!

    That mayo looks amazing. Need to try it. I’m in California like Mary, though, and the avocado selections are officially grim territory now. Might have to try the kombucha idea.

  7. “I picture its relationship with vegetables to be a little like Hugh Hefner’s with his Bunnies, which is to say it’s hard to choose a favorite!”
    i DIED. tears, they are streaming down my face, as i choke-giggle at work. my cheeks. they hurt. xo

      1. Shadeeee,
        First, as Tamar Adler says, make sure you get eggs from farmers who’ve given as much thought to their hens’ eggs as their own eggs, i.e. come get some from us.
        Second, the emulsification of the fats makes the egg yolk disappear into creamy thickness and you never think about it again.
        Third, I love you!

  8. Im so going to make this!

    “maybe we should hire a babysitter before we start a conversation.” that saying should be up on display in our house, too funny x

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