Saturday, April 2, 2011

Mango Salsa

When the Champagne Mangos come into season (now), I can barely wait to split one open and taste its velvety sweet sharp flesh. This salsa is the perfect way to enjoy them while they're available, other than slurping them right out of your hand. And if you can find Champagne Vinegar to substitute for the White Wine Vinegar in this salsa...well a tiny tear might squeeze right out of your eye when you taste it. *Sigh* Don't worry, you can make this any time of year with any kind of mangos and a good white wine vinegar and everyone will still ask you how you did it. So what else do you need? Here it is:
1/3 cup of red onion, finely diced. Juice of one lime. An avocado. Most of this Ancient Sweet Red Pepper or a Red Bell Pepper.

You might find these lovely golden babies labeled as Atulfo Mangos rather than Champagne, either way they're the same creature. Since Atulfo's are always smaller than the big greeney-red mango (minding its own business on the right there) use 3 in this recipe rather than 2 of the bigger variety. Look for mangos that are a rich color and give a bit when you press them; if they aren't a little soft, they aren't ripe. 

Pitting a Mango

There's a huge flat pit in the middle of these things that makes them impossible to just slice in half; instead you'll end up with a center slice that is mostly fibrous and unusable and a right and left chunk that make up for that wasted middle. Slice down each side as close to the pit as you can get. If you hear or feel that you are cutting into fiber move further away from the pit just a little. Now score each side but don't cut through the skin.
Push up from the bottom to sort of turn the piece inside out and now you can cut across these pre-diced little squares. Avocado lesson next!

Pitting an Avocado

Cut from the top down until the knife hits the pit. Lay the avocado down, hold the knife still against the pit with one hand, and turn the avocado a full turn with the other. Now the two halves will twist apart.

The easiest way to remove the pit is to whack it with a knife. Hands back! Don't hold it to keep it steady; who cares if it shoots across the counter? Much better than losing a finger.

A good twist will set it free.
Score this one too and scoop out with a large spoon.  Like the mango, pick an avocado with a little give when pressed. It shouldn't be firm but it shouldn't be at all squishy either. If you open it and it's squishy, make guacamole.

Finally, dice the red pepper in small bits. And mix all together in a bowl.

 Add the seasonings last and turn everything gently with a spatula to keep the pieces intact.
1/4 tsp salt, 1 Tbs sugar, 1 tsp pepper, 2 Tbs White Wine Vinegar, 1 Tbs Olive Oil
3 Atulfo Mangos
1 Avocado
1 Ancient Sweet Pepper or Red Bell Pepper
1 Lime
Red Onion
White Wine Vinegar
Olive Oil
salt, pepper, sugar

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