Eating seasonal, preferably organic, locally sourced produce is a priority to me, so the majority of the food I eat fits this bill. But firmly placed in the minority (along with coffee, chocolate and basmati rice) are mangoes. Being a tropical fruit, they don’t grow happily around here, so have to be trucked down from the Northern Territory or Queensland, accruing lots of unwanted food miles in the process.
I justify buying mangoes with my ‘mostly’ approach to the things I value, meaning that I mostly make environmentally friendly food choices, I am mostly moderate about eating rich desserts and so on… I love the experience of food too much to forgo everything that doesn’t fit my sustainability or health criteria, so I comfort myself with the knowledge that the good choices I do make, do make a difference overall.
Nigella Lawson once said that mangoes are best eaten in their natural state, preferably in the bath…and I tend to agree. There is nothing like the sensual lusciousness of a mango to send you to culinary heaven.
But we can’t all be lolling about in the bath eating mangoes, so here is a salad to enjoy instead. I’ve found that adults and kids alike tend to love this salad, making it a perfect addition to a summer barbecue spread or picnic basket. I have used baby spinach this time, but rocket works well too, and will give you lovely, peppery flavours that contrast nicely with the mango.
For the salad, add to a large salad bowl:
500g cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained (equivalent to 2 x 400g tins)
2 mangoes, cut into cubes
1 lebanese cucumber, finely diced
2 sticks celery, finely diced
4 tablespoons capers
4 generous handfuls baby spinach (or rocket if you prefer), washed and spun in a salad spinner to remove excess water
For the dressing, whisk together in a small bowl:
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
1 organic egg yolk
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, crushed
Freshly ground black pepper
Pour the dressing over the salad, and gently toss together to combine.