The weather is finally warming up and that means one thing, more salads. The hotter it gets, the less I use the oven. I grew up in Maine, people! High heat, humidity and I are not friends. Today was sunny and a glorious 79 degrees. Hot, but not I need to hide in the air-conditioning hot.
In honor of the upcoming Cinco de Mayo, I was feeling festive. Warm weather does that to me. I always want margaritas, guacamole, and chips. I picked up a few beautiful mangos that were just screaming to be salad-ified. (Yes, salad-ified is a word. I say therefore it is.) This is a somewhat healthier option that’s like mango salsa, but a little less tart so the different flavors have room to stand out, but also meld together. I was flipping through the May issue of Bon Appetit and saw a recipe using pickled onions that inspired me (Shrimp and Potato Salad, pg 152). The sour onions really balance out the sweetness of the mango. I tried this Mango Salad a few different ways: on its own (which was amazing), over a bed of baby spinach, and even in a tortilla with the avocado mashed up. Insane!
I also couldn’t resist the gorgeous radishes either. They are such a misunderstood vegetable. I’ve grown to love them in salads and even as a dipper with hummus. They’re crunchy and have a bitterness/heat that kind of bites you back.
What’s on your Cinco de Mayo menu?
Mango Salad with Pickled Onions
1 red onion, thinly sliced
5 T red or white wine vinegar
1 mango, sliced into spears
2 mini seedless cucumber (or 1/2 a whole one), diced
1 lime, juiced
1 avocado, sliced
1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced
handful cilantro, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 a serrano pepper, membrane removed, minced
salt & pepper
1. Put the sliced onion in a bowl. Rinse with cold water for a minute. Drain well. Season with salt and pepper. Pour vinegar over and mix until coated. Marinate for at least one hour before using. Stir occasionally while marinating to ensure all onions pickle. This is kind of the cheater’s version of pickling because there’s no cooking involved.
2. In a large separate bowl, add the lime juice, cumin, cilantro and serrano. Mix until combined. Add mango, cucumber, sliced radishes and avocado to vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper. Stir until all elements are covered in vinaigrette.
3. Garnish with pickled onions.