Tuesday, December 13, 2011

mango cilantro salad with avocado

Here we are with another recipe without a recipe. Some food like sandwiches, some salads and other things, defy being limited by a list of quantities. They're so flexible and are often made for varying amounts of people, therefore to quantify the ingredients becomes more of a hassle than a help.

Such is the case with this salad. Maybe you, like me, found a huge mango at Jean-Talon Market and could only use half of it. Avocados come in different sizes. A lot of people don't like cilantro as much as I do. So where I might use a generous handful of the stuff, a couple of tablespoons chopped may be sufficient for someone else. So... use however much of whatever ingredients you want - all this is a salad idea. And a really good one at that. Even if you're a beginner cook, you probably know how to throw together a salad. If you don't, well... it's pretty foolproof! There's a first time for everything.

I think it was Adam who actually came up with this salad, and for a while we went on a bender eating it practically five times per week. It's a great side dish for Indian or Thai food. Or any kind of food. The sweetness of the mango marries with the ... cilantroness of the cilantro. The avocado adds texture, flavour and a bit more substance. Often, if I'm serving this with a light meal or having it as a meal in itself, I'll add feta as well. I'm a big fan of the sweet and salty combination.

As far as the dressing goes, my mom taught me a different way to dress your salad.  Instead of mixing together a dressing in a bowl, she just drizzles a bit of oil, vinegar, salt and pepper over the salad and tosses. I know this isn't exactly revolutionary, but it was revolutionary to me. It saves dishes and ultimately you end up using less dressing. It might take a bit of trial and error to get the proportions right, but at this stage I pretty much get it bang on every time, though once and a while I screw up and have to add a little more of this and that. Of course, this only works for very simple dressings.

mango cilantro salad with avocado

lettuce or spring mix of your choice
mango, chopped
avocado, in cubes
green onion, diced
cilantro, chopped
feta cheese, crumbled (optional)
light oil (such as canola or sunflower - I use Becel oil)
salt and pepper to taste
seasoned rice vinegar (or other light coloured vinegar of your choice, or freshly squeezed lime juice!)

  • Throw together lettuce, mango, avocado, green onion, cilantro and feta cheese in a bowl.
  • Drizzle with with oil, then season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle rice vinegar over and toss. Test, then add more oil, vinegar and seasoning until you're happy.

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