First, my friends, a confession: I was a devoted Russian Dressing girl for years. In fact, I remember making a dinner party for a bunch of my roommate’s parent’s friends in Barcelona (many, many moons ago!) and serving a green salad with Russian Dressing. They were kind of baffled by the heavy pinkish topping. Now, well, I guess I am, too! So, though I enjoy it atop a roast beef and coleslaw mixture in a sandwich (hah! The secret is out!), these days, I like my salads lightly dressed. After all, the “job” of the salad topping is to complement, not to compete. When I started working with Chef Rafael Palomino on his cookbooks (10 years ago?!), I started playing with vinaigrettes, thanks to his tutelage! This one, the Mango Vinaigrette, is one of my favorites, and one you might want to add to your spring/summer salad repertoire! Here I added it to some arrugula, and topped it with a bit of another favorite: shaved Manchego cheese.
This mango vinaigrette adds a touch of sweetness to your salad, without overpowering or masking the luscious flavors of your greens!
- 1/4 cup minced red onion
- 2 1/2 cups excellent quality mango nectar (if you use a watered down or sugary version, it will affect the quality of your vinaigrette) or 1 puréed mango, plus about 1/2 cup nectar
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil (again, excellent quality...and not overpowering!)
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- In a medium-size bowl, combine the onion, mango purée or nectar, cilantro and vinegar.
- Gradually whisk in the oil.
- Season to taste and adjust.
- Use immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to one week.
- Whisk or shake well before serving.