I saw a young man and his father at Costco recently. They saw a package of ripe mangos, now in season from a warmer climate and shipped to us in the snow. The father and son were so excited they both practically jumped up and down….giddy. I surmised in my head as they trotted away with their mango treasures in hand that there was a phenomenal mango recipe awaiting their delivery. A mango recipe they only get to partake in certain times during the year because this isn’t Maui where they grow like mad. Sigh.
This entire detailed analysis in my head took about a half a second. I have these moments. Picture it like a comic book conversation bubble. Standing there in Costco. Smiling. Watching the interaction and formalizing an analysis instantaneously based on my observations. It’s a human thing. But, it’s even more of a cop thing. An unconscious involuntary mental summary of probable events.
I remember taking tests a zillion years ago that evaluated the ability to do this very thing…and do it quickly. I was in my teens then and early twenties. The old mind may have worked quicker then, but didn’t have the benefit of all the awesome life experience and knowledge that comes with the years. Oh the thinks you can think! I did mention I have a two year old right? Yep. I have a lot of Dr. Seuss anecdotes. Gold star for those who get those. If you read the blog, you may see them from time to time.
So, back to these mangos. I do love myself a ripe mango. Tricky buggers to cut, and definitely a learned skill, but once you get the hang of it…no sweat! Mangos are similar to an avocado in that they have a large hard seed in the middle, but the mango seed is much more mammoth than an avocado seed. I slice the meat off the mango similar to an avocado but the around the seed. I then score the meat, invert the skin with meat and slice the meat in squares off the skin into the salad. Whatever I can’t get off into the salad, is mine to eat directly from the rind and around the seed. A sloppy, juicy mango mess!
Now that mangos are back in the stores, I will be using them to make mango-blackberry salsa and this mango black bean salad pictured above. Yesterday at my daughter’s second birthday, I served this mango black bean salad along with a southwestern type theme of chili and cornbread. I think this salad would be wonderful with some fresh salsa or pico de gallo and possibly tortilla strips for some crunch too. Colorful and flexible.
- Optional Add Shredded Rotisserie Chicken to make this a meal in itself
- 3 Romaine Hearts, washed, dried, and broken into bite sized pieces (Or green salad lettuce of your choice)
- 1 15 oz. Can of Black Beans, drained and rinsed.
- 1 C. Frozen Sweet Corn
- 1/2 Medium Purple Onion, diced.
- 1/2 Sweet Red Bell Pepper, diced.
- 1/2 C. Fresh Cilantro Leaves.
- 1 Medium Tomato, cut into bite sized pieces or 7-8 cherry tomatoes halted
- 1 Ripe Mango, edible portions diced in bite sized pieces
- 2 Avocados, pit removed-sliced
- Salt and Pepper
- Cilantro Lime Ranch
- This salad can be made several hours ahead of time and refrigerated. Wash and dry romaine leaves. Tear into bite sized pieces. Add to large bowl. Layer all the rest of the ingredients over the top of the lettuce except the avocado, lime, and salt and pepper. To help the avocado remain green and not discolored, cut the avocado in half, remove pit, and cut long slices along the inside of the avocado with a butter knife. Careful not to pierce though the skin. Squeeze lime juice in each avocado half and season with salt and pepper. If not serving right away, cover and refrigerate with the avocados still in tact, soaking in lime juice. If serving right away, use a medium silverware spoon and scoop out the long slices of avocado from the skin in one large swoop.
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