Mango & Tomato Salad
With Mint Chimichurri
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Sauces are funny. More often than not you end up making more than you need for any particular dish. I hate throwing out leftovers, especially when they’re packed with flavour – after all, the sauce is often the best part. So after making lamb with mint chimichurri, I found myself with a bunch of extra chimichurri, unsure of what to do with it. Fortunately, the flavours that worked so well with lamb also work beautifully with sweet mangoes and tomatoes. Honestly, I was amazed at how well this worked, given that it was just an experiment. Mint partners perfectly with super-sweet fruits like mango and watermelon, but the tartness of the added vinegar gives dimension and keeps this from becoming too dessert-y. Add the earthy taste of cumin and the whole thing is balanced out marvelously.
I call this a salad, but it could very easily be a sweet salsa if you wanted to throw it on top of some tortilla chips (plus-or-minus a good kick of jalapeno). Even if you don’t want to make the the lamb recipe mentioned above, you’ll want to make the chimichurri just to have this.
The original mint chimichurri recipe is here, but here’s a quick summary (just combine all of the ingredients and let stand for an hour or more):
1 cup each mint and parsley, minced (as finely as you like)
1/4 cup each red wine vinegar and olive oil
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2-3 minced garlic cloves
1.5 tbsp lemon juice (fresh is best).
This is a rather versatile little salad/salsa, and you can adapt it easily for different purposes. If you want to make it a little more substantial to feed a larger crew, add a mix of mild lettuce (butter lettuce would be ideal) and a bitter green like endive, radicchio, escarole, or arugula.
To take this further in a salsa direction, try adding half of one red onion, finely diced.
For another interesting variation, you could replace half or all of the mango with cubed watermelon.
Try to find a flavourful, fleshy tomato – I like using good cherry tomatoes, but larger ones would work too. Likewise, you could use any sweet mango, but I think that the small yellow Mexican Ataulfo mangoes are absolutely perfect for this (…and in general).
If you’ve fallen into the unhealthy-salad-trap (which is pretty easy thanks to ultra-fatty dressings), this is your escape. It’s low in calories, fat, and carbohydrates while remaining nutrient-dense and big on flavour.
Nothing! This is one of the healthiest things I’ve ever come up with. One person could eat all 8 servings and remain guilt-free.
No ingredient pages have been written yet for any of the ingredients in this recipe. Like to see one? Let me know in the comments below or by email.
No pantry pages have been written yet for any of the ingredients in this recipe. Like to see one? Let me know in the comments below or by email.
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Call it a salsa, call it a salad... regardless, this is delicious and easy to play around with. Serve it as is with a meal, with tortilla chips for a snack, or on endive leaves for a fancy-schmancy appetizer. Best of all, it's amazingly good for you.
- salt to taste
- 25 g mint (about 1 cup loosely packed)
- 25 g flat leaf parsley (about 1 cup loosely packed)
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 2-3 cloves garlic minced
- 1.5 tbsp lemon juice preferably fresh-squeezed
- 500 g mango diced (900 g [2 lb] of mango should yield about this much)
- 250 g cherry or grape tomatoes halved (or quartered if they're large)
- 2 tablespoons mint chimichurri
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Chop the parsley and mint, either coarsely or finely, depending on how you'd like the final consistency to be. For a smooth sauce, you can skip chopping and add all of the chimichurri ingredients except for the olive oil together in a food processor (stir the olive oil in after processing).
Combine all of the chimichurri ingredients in a bowl and set them aside.
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, mix, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Serve as is, with tortilla chips, or spooned on top of the leaves of a bitter leaf-vegetable like endive or radicchio.
Variation 1 - Add half of one diced red onion.
Variation 2 - Replace part or all of the mango with cubed watermelon.