Mango salsa is an exotic alternative to the more common tomato salsa. I used the Ataulfo variety, which is cultivated in Mexico. The overall flavor is sweet with hints of spiciness and acidity when fully ripe. Really, you could use almost any kind of mango, but I think the vibrant deep orange color of Ataulfo mangoes really pops in the salsa. Just as important, the texture of the flesh is smooth with no unpleasant fibers.
To complete the salsa, I added many standard salsa ingredients, such as shallots, tomatoes, bell peppers, corn, and to make it a bit spicy, jalapeños. I paired the finished product with seafood; it was fantastic!
Servings: 1 pint
2 ripe mangoes
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 tomato, diced
1 (8.75-ounce) can corn, drained
juice of 2 limes
1 tablespoon curly parsley leaves (or cilantro), chopped
½ teaspoon salt
½ green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon ginger garlic paste
(click on the link for the recipe)
2 teaspoons agave nectar
2 tablespoons avocado oil
3 tablespoons olive oil
For the spicy salad dressing: In a small bowl, combine the agave nectar, the juice of 1 lime, mustard, Tabasco sauce, ginger garlic paste. Whisk avocado and olive oils. Adjust seasoning with salt. Set aside.
Little reminder on how to roast peppers: Cut the stems off the jalapeño and bell peppers. Wash them, pat dry and brush with oil. Place a grill on your stove and char all the skin of the peppers. Wrap in aluminum foil. Let cool for about 5-10 minutes until you can handle them without discomfort. Clean the peppers using a knife; the skin will come right off. Seed them and finely chop the flesh.
How to peel a mango:
This might sound silly but Lulu's aunt was intrigued at how I peel a mango neatly without getting the pulp all mashed and mushy.
Using a sharp knife, trim the end. Peel one side while holding the fruit with the other end. Delicately cut the first lobe, leaving it on the stone of the fruit and make criss-cross cuts, creating the cubes of fruit. Transfer the diced fruit to a bowl. Flip the fruit and repeat the same procedure on the other side. Do not apply any pressure to the flesh with your fingers to prevent the fruit from bruising; that way the pulp won't be mashed up or damaged.
Drizzle with lime juice.
In a serving bowl, combine the shallots, tomato, corn, bell peppers and jalapeño. Add the parsley. Drizzle with spicy salad dressing. Toss to combine. Adjust seasoning if needed.
Let sit for about 5-10 minutes before serving to let all the flavors blend together. Serve at room temperature.
You can pair the salsa with chicken or grilled fish.
You've probably noticed I use a lot of roasted bell peppers in my cooking. I usually roast 2-3 peppers at a time. I sprinkle some salt on the roasted peppers, place them in a jar and fill it up with pure olive oil. Stored in the refrigerator, they can be kept up to a week. The olive oil will become cloudy in the refrigerator but will regain its regular clarity when brought back to room temperature.
How to choose Ataulfo mangoes? Ataulfo mangoes are small, flat and oblong shaped. When picking mangoes at the store, choose one with deep golden color and small wrinkles. Bring the fruit close to your nose; it should smell fragrant. Gently squeeze the mango, it should feel soft, but not mushy to the touch. If the skin is still greenish yellow, you might want to wait a few days to ripen in a paper bag at room temperature before consuming it to get the peak of balanced sweetness and hint of spiciness.