Monday, May 17, 2010

Mango Cucumber Salad Recipes

Mango Salad
Ok here's a crazy idea, one basic salad that can be either sweet or savory. I was trying to think of what to do with some mangoes coming my way from the National Mango Board this week and then I saw a tweet from @SimpleGourmetLA with the idea for a "mojito cucumber, mango and strawberry salad." It occurred to me that both cucumber and mango could go either way--sweet or savory.

I'm always looking for ways to use common ingredients in slightly unexpected ways. Here the twist is using cucumber in a sweet fruit salad and using sweet mango in a savory salad. English cucumber is available year round and does not need to be peeled. It has a very mild flavor and a fine texture without big slippery seeds. Best of all, it has a terrific crunch! I used the most commonly available mango, the Tommy Atkins variety in both salads. It's not a very tropical, luscious or creamy mango, but more of a workhorse, with citrus-like flavor, able and willing to stand up to whatever you demand of it. It's a bit on the firm side so it's particularly good in salads.

For the sweet salad I combined cucumber, mango and strawberries and for the savory version, cucumber, mango and radishes. You might recognize the ingredients from the savory salad as being similar to what you find Mexican street vendors selling. Each salad is flavored with lime, but the sweet salad gets a touch of honey and mint, the savory salad, a pinch of salt and green onion. Both are bursting with juiciness, crunch and Summery flavors and would be great at a picnic. I'd serve the savory salad with grilled fish or chicken. I'd serve the sweet salad with a scoop of sorbet or just a couple of cookies.

Sweet Mango Salad
Mango, Cucumber, Strawberry Salad
Serves 4

Ingredients

1 Tommy Atkins mango, peeled, pitted and cut into chunks
1/2 large English cucumber, cut into chunks
1 pint strawberries, trimmed and cut in chunks
Juice of a fresh lime, squeezed
2 teaspoons honey
2 sprigs chopped fresh mint leaves, about 12 leves

Instructions

In a mixing bowl combine the lime and honey and stir until smooth. Add the mango, cucumber, strawberries and mix. Sprinkle with mint and taste for seasoning before serving.

Savory Mango Salad
Mango, Cucumber, Radish Salad
Serves 4

Ingredients

1 Tommy Atkins mango, peeled, pitted and cut into chunks
1/2 large English cucumber, cut into chunks
1 bunch radishes, trimmed and cut into chunks
1 green onion, thinly sliced
Juice of a fresh lime, squeezed
Pinch kosher salt

Instructions

In a mixing bowl combine the lime and salt and stir until dissolved. Add the mango, cucumber, radishes and mix. Sprinkle with green onions and taste for seasoning before serving.

Enjoy!