Mango is one of my favorite flavors, but it's not a fruit I cook with much. For the Eating the Alphabet Challenge, I wanted to push the envelope a little by trying something more savory, rather than going for a sweet like mango lassi or pudding. I paired the mango with mint simply because I thought it sounded like a great idea and not because I actually knew how the two would work together. I also decided to add spring onions (scallions) to my ingredients list as I reckoned the inclusion of onion would land whatever I made squarely in the land of savory. Also, it's an "O" ingredient and I am nothing if not an overachiever.
I based my salad on BBC Foods' Quinoa Salad With Mint and Mango" recipe, but I changed it up a bit -- adding crushed almonds, increasing the mint, decreasing the spring onions, and cooking the quinoa in orange juice.
Mango and Mint Quinoa SaladThis is a fabulously refreshing summery salad well-suited to a humid August morning. The flavors are really clean and bright and the whole thing positively shouts "good health!"
4 oz quinoa, well rinsed
8 oz fresh orange juice
1 mango, peeled, finely chopped
2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro leaves (omit stems to avoid soapy flavor)
2 spring onions, including the green parts, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
zest and juice of ½ a lime
4 Tbsp crushed unsalted roasted almonds
Toss mango with mint, cilantro, onions, lime juice and zest, and olive oil. Set aside and allow the flavors to marry.
Meanwhile, cook quinoa in orange juice using your favorite method. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.
Toss quinoa with mango mixture. Divide between two plates. Garnish with extra mango and mint and crushed almonds.
That said, this salad is best eaten within a few hours of making it. You don't want to refrigerate it unless you're going to let it come back up to room temperature before consuming. Trust me, it just doesn't taste very good chilled.
If you want to add meat to this dish and serve it for lunch or supper, I would serve it over a bed of baby greens with a skewer of citrus-grilled shrimp.