It’s Monday morning and I have mangoes on the mind. How many ingredients can you think of that go as well with fish as they do in a smoothie, yet can also brighten up a pizza? Mango is a surprising fruit, and can do all three.
Mangoes are ripe and ready this time of year, and this means they’re everywhere, they’re priced right and they taste great. But how do you know how to choose the perfect mango to put in your grocery basket? Here are a few pointers to help you pick and pit the perfect mango…
Buying a Ripe Mango
Like most tropical fruit, mangoes are picked under-ripe to save some of the ripening process for transit. When ripe, the fruit is soft to the touch, but not mushy and gives off a sort of sweet, sort of resinous smell. Look around when you’re at the mango fruit stand. You won’t be the only one sniffing! If you buy one that’s under-ripe, store it in a cool, dark place, then in a refrigerator after ripened.
Pitting the Mango
In the center of the fruit is a large flat, oblong seed. The key to pitting a mango is knowing which direction the seed lays. You get the majority of the fruit by cutting to either side of the flat but wide seed. To pit a mango, place it stem side up with the narrow side facing you. Make a vertical line starting at 1/4″ to the right of the stem. Repeat on the other side. To easily remove the flesh, lightly score the mango into diamonds.
Buckle the skin, pushing the flesh outward so that it resembles a porcupine. Slice off the cubes.
The flavor of mango is great solo, or in a smoothie. But it also can be a delicious savory pairing. Try the following recipes to see how mango makes a great addition to your lunch or dinner.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, here are some delicious recipes to try with one of the signature fruits of the season!
Tuna Mango Salad
Use this like your regular tuna salad served on bread, tortillas, or over a bed of lettuce.
8 oz. cooked tuna
1 ripe mango, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon cumin
¼ cup cucumber chunks, meat only
1/8 cup diced onion
½ teaspoon hot sauce
2 tablespoons banana pepper, diced
1 teaspoon spicy dry mustard
¼ cup mayonnaise
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Combine all ingredients. Serve chilled.
Goad Cheese, Mango & Roasted Red Pepper Pizza
Pizza dough (see recipe below)
8 oz. goat cheese
4 oz. cream cheese
1 mango, peeled and sliced or cubed
1 red pepper
1/8 cup diced red onion
1/4 tsp garlic salt
Roast red pepper in oven until skin blackens. Cool and peel. Cut into ½ inch strips. Roll out pizza dough. Prebake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Combine cheeses, onion and garlic salt. Spread cheese mixture onto dough. Top with mango and red pepper strips. Bake for 12 – 15 more minutes or until dough is completely cooked.
Kelly Donlea is a Barrington mom, chef, cookbook author the owner of Organizing Dinner, a company that brings sensible cooking solutions to busy people. She has published several cookbooks and one of her specialties is helping parents plan family meals with fewer trips to the grocery store. Kelly also offers cooking classes and demonstrations in your home or public facility. To learn more about Kelly, her recipes and her services, you’ll find her Facebook page by clicking HERE and her website at OrganizingDinner.com. Kelly is going to be sharing recipes, cooking tips and special features about chefs and popular menu items at area restaurants right here at 365Barrington.com.
Please join us as we discover local culinary treasures and new kitchen classics in our new, local and regular food feature here at 365Barrington.com called “Barrington Eats” with Kelly Donlea!
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*Photo Credit 1, Photo Credit 2.