Since this has been one of the hottest summers ever, we’ve been trying to think of things to make that don’t require using the stove. Green salads are great, but they get a bit boring after awhile, and most fruit salads are far too sweet for my taste. The best cure for the summer-food blues we’ve come up with is this salad that starts off the sweetness of fresh mango and tartness of lime and ends with a kick of red pepper spice and salt. It’s delicious as a light lunch on its own, but we’ve found that it goes wonderfully with grilled pork, chicken, or fish. It’s very simple to put together, and the best part is that this salad really benefits from a few hours in the refrigerator, so it’s a perfect dish to make up a few hours in advance or have the next day as leftovers. We like our mangoes to be very ripe and sweet, but you can use less-ripe fruit if you prefer more tartness.
- 2-3 fresh mangoes, diced
- Juice of one lime
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 large shallots, chopped
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (use more or less depending on how spicy you like things)
In a large mixing bowl, combine the mangoes, cilantro, and shallots. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, salt, and red pepper and pour over the mango mixture, tossing gently until everything is coated. The salad is ready to serve then, but it holds well in the refrigerator – just press some plastic wrap down gently onto the surface of the salad to minimize contact with air. Serve alone or with pork, chicken, or fish (such as the pan-seared swordfish below). Enjoy!