Latin Twist: Mango Vinaigrette for your Spring and Summer Greens!

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Salad with Mango VinaigretteIt’s not that I don’t enjoy a salad with just oil and vinegar, but sometimes I want a little bit more!

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.

 

Latin Twist: Mango Vinaigrette

Yield: About 3 cups

This mango vinaigrette adds a touch of sweetness to your salad, without overpowering or masking the luscious flavors of your greens!

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. In a medium-size bowl, combine the onion, mango purée or nectar, cilantro and vinegar.
  2. Gradually whisk in the oil.
  3. Season to taste and adjust.
  4. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to one week.
  5. Whisk or shake well before serving.
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About Author

Maybe it was the dinner parties my mom always threw—or the hours I spent prepping and cooking alongside her (and then on my own!). Or maybe it was array of fabulous dishes that my family sampled in New York City’s richly diverse restaurants, but I’ve loved creating, savoring, and sharing food for as long as I can remember. Living in Spain, and later in Peru, also greatly influenced my life. These years abroad taught me Spanish—and about living in different countries--but also introduced me to teaching English as a second language, which I’ve done—mostly in the US-- for the past 20-plus (yikes!) years. I’ve authored two cocktail/tapas books, Mambo Mixers and Calypso Coolers, coauthored more than 15 others (mostly food related!), and raised two children. Now I'm chef and owner of my own restaurant, Mambo 64 in Tuckahoe, New York. My message is the same, whether I'm teaching, writing, running the restaurant or being a regular guest on the Spanish-language network Telemundo (on the morning show, Buenos Días Nueva York!). My belief in food—and the power of food—is far reaching, and is married with another one: the power of stories. I’m sure that if we could all sit down and have meals together, sharing both tastes and tales, we’d have peace on earth. Enjoy!

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