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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Refreshing Cucumber Mango Sweet Potato Salad

Refreshing Cucumber Mango Sweet Potato Salad

Come spring, I start dreaming about the various fresh vegetables that will start rolling into the market as the season progresses... and the salads I can make with them.

This refreshing cucumber mango salad is marinated in a zesty lime vinaigrette for that extra burst of flavor. Semi-ripe and firm mangoes that are not mushy work best for this salad as they bring the tangy-sweet flavor.

Sweet potatoes are optional, but, since the older child loves them, it gives another dimension to the salad with its texture, and its mildly sweet flavor.

English cucumber, diced chunky
Seedless red grapes, halved lengthwise
Grape or cherry snack tomatoes, halved lengthwise
Celery stalk with leaves, coarsely chopped
Kale leaves, ribboned
Orange bell pepper, diced
Semi-ripe but firm mango, sliced
Shallots or purple onions, sliced thinly

Lemon-Lime Sweet Vinaigrette
2 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp honey or agave nectar
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp ground paste of fresh jalapeno and cilantro**
1 Tbsp cilantro chopped finely for garnish
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp chives
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 garlic clove squeezed through garlic press
6 Tbsp hazelnut oil or walnut oil
salt to taste

**Pulse some fresh cilantro leaves, some fresh de-seeded jalapeno, some oil and apple cider vinegar to make a coarse paste

  1. Massage the kale ribbons with some olive oil and let them sit 
  2. Combine the cucumbers, mango, celery, bell peppers, onions and toss with some salt and the cilantro-jalapeno paste from the step above; allow to marinate while assembling the rest
  3. Pan-roast the sweet potatoes and allow to cool before tossing into the salad
  4. Stir together the vinaigrette ingredients, adjust to taste
  5. Serve layered or tossed, with feta or goat cheese, if preferred

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