Summer is peak season for mangoes in Florida. They drop off the trees and scatter over the ground and sidewalks. People literally can’t give them away and squirrels can’t get enough of them. Cantaloupe melons are also at their best and this really is a seasonal recipe to be enjoyed in the moment and put away for next year. The sweetness of the two ingredients is cut by the addition of lime juice and zest. For the melon I use a melon baller but if you don’t have one then cut the cantaloupe into chunks. Puree the mango to make a sauce which you can either pour over the melon balls or serve on the side so people can help themselves. Makes a quite decadent breakfast or a simple, thirst-quenching dessert.
1 x cantaloupe melon – de-seeded and cut into melon balls
1 x mango – peeled and cut into chunks
Juice and zest of 1/2 a lime
Place the melon balls in a serving dish
Puree the mango in a food processor along with the lime juice, then either drizzle over the melon or pour into a sauce bowl.
Grate lime zest over the melon.
My local Farmer’s Market has a wonderful tropical fruit stand selling a wide variety of ripe, colorful exotic fruits – some I have never seen or heard of before. One of the women behind the stand is solely engaged in making up containers of their fruit salad and these fly off the shelf with some customers eating straight from the carton as they browse the rest of the market. I think quite a few supermarkets carry these fruit too nowadays.
My fruit salad consists of mango, papaya, yellow dragon fruit (a sweeter version of the bright pink dragon fruit) and kiwi fruit. The fruit should be cut into pieces of roughly equal size. Try and make sure that some of the good juices end up in the fruit salad too.
1 mango – cut into cubes
1/2 a papaya – de-seeded and cut into cubes
1 yellow dragon fruit – cut each half into cubes
2 kiwi fruit – peeled and cut into pieces.
So simple and is great for breakfast, packed lunch, fruit salad. All you need is one ripe mango pureed in food processor and some melon cut into bite size pieces. Place melon in bowl and spoon over the mango puree – et voila!
Mango and Avocado Salsa (serves 4)
Perfect for the summer. Goes well with blackened fish and I am having it alongside Lime Garlic Shrimp (see my recipe). To me salsa was the tomato kind you get served along with guacamole. But here in Florida I started to see fruity salsas. Mango is one of my favorite fruits and I mixed it with a little red onion, avocado, jalapeno and lime juice. Wear gloves when working with jalapenos as they can otherwise make your hands itch and don’t touch your eyes.
1 small mango or 1/2 a large one – chopped into small chunks
1 avocado – chopped into small chunks
1 1/2 tbsp. red onion – finely chopped
1 jalapeno – remove seeds and pith (that is where the heat is), cut into fine strips and then chop into very small pieces
Juice of 1/2 lime
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix together well.
Fruit and Avocado in a Salad with Tarragon Dressing (serves 2)
Fruit in a salad is a nice idea but took some getting used to – strawberries with balsamic vinaigrette, for instance. Walking along with dog, which is when I do a lot of my recipe thinking, a thought came to me of combining mango (I used the little honey mangoes as they have more of a taste and are easier to peel) nectarine, avocado, arugula/rocket with a tarragon dressing. Toss and dress the salad about half an hour before serving it to let tarragon flavor develop. This is a good ‘girlfriend’ lunch and perfect for summer when the fruits are ripe (have bought many a disappointing nectarine in my time).
1 honey mango – chopped into small chunks
1 nectarine – finely sliced
1 avocado – cut into small chunks
A couple of handfuls of arugula/rocket
1/2 tbsp. finely chopped tarragon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Mango Salsa with Yuzu Vinaigrette
Yuzu – a Japanese citrus – is a name I see cropping up recently in recipes. I tracked the juice down online but if you live in a city that has a Japanese food store you can probably find it there. The flavor is not exactly lemon but more intense and sweeter. Very versatile, it can be added to fruit salad or used in a vinaigrette and also added to soups, stews or fish dishes.
I had this recipe as a salsa accompaniment to fish but I also made it just as a salad for lunch.
Take equal quantities of cherry tomatoes, avocado and mango and chop into small pieces.
For the vinaigrette
1 tbsp. yuzu juice
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
Mix all together in a jar with a lid to emulsify.
Pour vinaigrette over salsa/salad mixture and let stand at room temperature for at least half an hour.
P.S. Mango with a few drops of yuzu juice is great for breakfast
Strawberries, Blueberries and Mango with a Raspberry Coulis (serves 4)
There are fruit salads and fruit salads. The basic store bought, pre-cut fruit variety is great for convenience but a standard mixture of melon, pineapple, strawberries and maybe some blueberries, all very healthy but not exciting. The fruit salads I grew up with were actually all from tinned fruit, which back in the day was quite exotic! Then they progressed to freshly cut up apples, pears, grapes and orange segments (often tough). I love combining different fruits into a more interesting combination. I was in a restaurant once and ordered fruit salad as it came drizzled with raspberry and mango coulis. The salad itself was OK but it was transformed by having the fruit sauces on top of it. It is as easy as taking a packet of frozen raspberries, de-frosting them and pureeing them with a little agave syrup/nectar in the food processor. I push the raspberry puree through a sieve to get rid of the pips.
10 oz frozen raspberries – defrosted
1 teasp. agave syrup/nectar (add more if needed, depending on your sweet tooth)
16 oz ripe strawberries – cut into small pieces
6 oz blueberries
16 0z frozen mango – defrosted
Puree defrosted raspberries and agave syrup/nectar in food processor and push resulting puree through a sieve then place in a bowl.
Combine rest of ingredients in a serving dish.
Serve on plates with raspberry spooned on top.