This bright and sparkling mango salad is not just beautiful, but also tasteful with sweet juicy mangoes perfectly balanced with a zippy mango chipotle dressing. (Skip to recipe.)
Don't you just love eating something that makes you want to - no, need to - go home right now and try to figure out how to make it because you can't stop thinking about it? Sometimes I get that way - all I can think about is a certain food. (I know, I know, food obsessed.)
This bright and sparkling salad did that to me. It looked so beautiful, and even better - its taste surpassed its looks!
My friend Judy made it for us on our weekend in Saskatchewan. I know the rest of the meal was wonderful, but I mostly remember this salad. It is so fresh and bright and colourful. I loved her combination of bright yellows and greens with the purple punch of the red cabbage. So pretty. The sweet, juicy mangoes are the perfect balance with the zippy chipotle sauce. Oh my, these flavours sing (much better than I can!)
Judy tossed the salad with a very delicious, sweet and spicy, bottled mango chipotle dressing, but I felt the need to recreate the dressing myself so that I could avoid the unpronounceable ingredients in the bottle. It whips up in minutes, and tastes even fresher and better than the bottled kind.
I think this would be a great salad for a festive holiday table, or any special meal. (Plus it's light enough to leave room for all the turkey and pie!)
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Kitchen Frau Notes: For instructions on how to easily cut up a mango, see this post. You will need 2 mangoes for this recipe, about 1 to 1½ for the salad, and ½ or a bit more of one for the dressing. There'll be a few extra chunks to nibble on . . . mmm.
If you are serving this salad for company, it is easy to make it several hours ahead. Prepare the vegetables. Place the mango at the bottom of the salad bowl. Cover with the peppers, onion, celery and red cabbage. Top it with the chopped romaine lettuce. Don't mix the veggies together yet. Wet a clean dish towel, cloth or several layers of paper towel and wring it out. Place the wet towel on top of the salad and tuck in the corners so they cover the whole salad to the edges of the bowl.
Set the cloth-covered bowl in the fridge to chill for up to 6 hours. Make the dressing and keep it in a covered container in the fridge. Just before serving, add the dressing to the salad and toss it all together (or toss veggies and serve the dressing on the side).
Chipotle pepper is a ground smoked dried pepper. If you can't find chipotle pepper, you could try substituting cayenne pepper and using smoked paprika instead of regular (or just use cayenne and regular paprika - you might not even miss the smokiness). I haven't tried it that way, but let me know if you do, and how it works.
The recipe makes more than enough Mango Chipotle Dressing for this salad. The dressing keeps well in the fridge for up to a week. The leftover dressing works well with any regular green salad or add a bit of mayonnaise and vinegar to it and dress shredded cabbage for a spicy mango coleslaw.
for the salad:
- 2 cups (500ml) diced mango (1 large, or about 1½ medium mangoes)
- 1 yellow pepper
- ¼ of a medium onion (about ½ cup/120ml sliced)
- 1 cup (240ml) celery, diagonally sliced (1 large or 2 small stalks)
- 1 cup (240ml) sliced red cabbage
- 1 large romaine heart (about 6 cups/1.5l chopped)
for the Mango Chipotle Dressing:
- 1 cup (240ml) diced mango
- 1 tablespoon liquid honey
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
- ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
- ¼ teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- ¼ cup (60ml) water
- 2 tablespoons oil (I used grapeseed oil)
Dice the mango for the salad and the dressing. Place 2 cups of the mango cubes in a large salad bowl. Core and quarter the yellow pepper. Cut each quarter into ¼ inch slices crosswise. Slice the celery diagonally into slices. Slice the quarter of an onion into crosswise slices, and cut the red cabbage. Tear the lettuce into bite-sized chunks or cut the whole head crosswise into ½ inch slices.
Place all the dressing ingredients into the blender and process until smooth. This will make about 1¼ cups (300ml) dressing. Toss the salad with just enough dressing to moisten the ingredients, or serve it separately for guests to dress their own salad. You will not need all of the dressing for this salad, but leftovers keep for up to a week in the fridge.
Salad serves 6.
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