(jump to recipe)
I almost didn’t write this post. I was planning to just cop out and post a few pictures on Instagram about this truly simple yet delicious salad and be done with it (terribly long week!), but there is so much to be said about the star ingredients of this salad – I decided to properly introduce them to ya’ll.
This salad features the seasonal Raw Mango (technically it’s “Unripe Mango”, although it sounds far less glamorous), known as “Kairi” in India and is on the farm stands a lot longer than its more celebrated incarnation, the Mango (riper, sweet version). Sure, the Mango is eaten many different ways (mostly as dessert) but the Raw (Unripe) Mango is extremely versatile and used in a lot of savory preparations in India. More on the subject to come your way on this blog, as we make our way through summer.
In North America, Raw Mangoes are available in regular grocery stores periodically in the spring and summer. I picked some up at the Indian grocery store few weeks ago to snack on (cut into thin wedges, with some salt and red chilli powder sprinkled on top), and figured that their tartness would pair really well with the richness of avocados! When picking these, be sure to choose Mangoes that are slightly pale green and softer to the touch (the harder ones can be bitter sometimes).
Sometimes they can be really tart, and eating a big piece of it can be a bit much, so I peeled the thick skin off and using my trusty julienne peeler, broke it down into thin strands that can be distributed throughout the salad and wouldn’t dominate the overall taste too much.
On a random recommendation from some blog no doubt, I had picked up a bottle of the brightly flavored Mexican seasoning Tajín a few moons ago: it’s a blend of sea salt, dried red chillies and bits of lime.
Lip smacking goodness! I bought it with the intention of rubbing some grilled corn with it (why haven’t I done it yet?!), but it went so well with the Raw Mango – it was a match made in heaven.
I threw in some coarsely chopped Butter Lettuce to volumize the salad (because both Mangoes and Avocados are high-calorie in a way). You can always skip the lettuce and make this into a slaw of sorts, which would pair really well with seafood tacos.
Made a simple dressing with Tajín, honey, lime juice and extra virgin olive oil, with a slick of dijon mustard:
I imagine it would be great slathered over grilled corn or vegetables.
In this salad, I tossed it with the shreds of raw mango and butter lettuce, and then set the thinly sliced avocados on top.
For a little crunch, I added sliced almonds and sprinkled on some more Tajín on top.
If I had some on hand, I would have added bits of salty, crumbly feta cheese, or tangy, creamy goat cheese, and thin slivers of mint to this salad. The salad begs for some. But it was perfectly divine without.
I have some more raw mangoes sitting on the counter, currently earmarked for some beverages (stay tuned!), but looking at these pictures I might just have to make this salad again.
• Recipe •
Raw Mango (Kairi) and Avocado Salad
Makes 2 side salad servings
1 large Raw Mango peeled and julienned (using a peeler or a sharp knife) (pit removed)
1 Avocado peeled, cut into thin slices
2 cups of Butter Lettuce, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 teaspoon freshly-squeezed Lime juice
1 plus 1/2 teaspoons Tajín seasoning, divided
1/2 teaspoon table Salt
1/2 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1 teaspoon Honey
1-2 tablespoons sliced, toasted Almonds
1 oz of Feta or Goat cheese, crumbled into bits and 1-2 tablespoons of finely chopped Mint leaves for garnish
In a small mason jar or a small bowl, add the dressing ingredients: oil, lime juice, 1 teaspoon seasoning, salt, mustard and honey. Whisk with a fork if using a bowl, or shut the lid of the mason jar and shake vigorously. Dressing will keep refrigerated for 2 weeks in the fridge in an airtight container.
In a large bowl, add the lettuce and raw mango. Toss together gently with your hands.
Drizzle the dressing over the salad, and toss carefully with a couple of forks.
Sprinkle the 1/2 teaspoon Tajín seasoning and sliced almonds on the salad and eat at once.