Whole Foods had mangoes on sale last weekend – those tiny mangos that turn bright yellow when they’re ripe and taste as sweet as honey. Less than $1 a piece if you bought an entire case. That’s a steal in Washington DC. Since then, I’ve been eating mangoes morning, noon, and night.
My favorite way to eat them, you ask? With a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkle of homemade granola. But a close second is this Quinoa Salad, adapted from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.
Just in case you were wondering how to pronounce that lovely word, quinoa, don’t worry. Everyone struggles with it. Just say, keen-wah. The origin of the word comes from Quechua, a South American language from the Andes, the same place that quinoa grows. Unfortunately, quinoa has grown so popular that it is becoming very expensive. This is a mixed bag for the people of the Andes – increased income means a better quality of life but it also means they can’t afford to buy the very crop grown in their own region. Remember to buy fair trade quinoa so that the people working the farms are fairly compensated for their labor and that will go a long way towards fixing the inequity.
Quinoa Salad with Mangoes and Curry Dressing
1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed
2 large mangos (I use three of the small ones)
1 jalapeno chile, seeded and diced
3 scallions, including some green, thinly sliced
Curry Vinaigrette (see below)
1/3 cup almonds, roasted
Boil three cups of water in a saucepan, add 1/2 tsp salt and the quinoa, lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes. Quinoa should be tender. Drain.
Cut the mangos. My favorite way is to slice off each side right next to the big pit in the middle. Then I score the flesh of each side in a diamond pattern, turn each side inside out so that the diamonds stick up and out and then slice them off the skin. I peel the middle piece and slice of any good flesh away from the pit. I often then squeeze the remainder of flesh on the pit to extract the last bit of flavorful juice.
Toss the quinoa with the mangoes, chiles, and green onions. Add the vinaigrette. Chop the almonds and add just before serving.
1 clove garlic
2 Tbl yogurt
2 tsp curry powder (you can use the recipe from last week!)
1 1/2 Tbl fresh lemon or lime juice
5 Tbl light olive oil, or other neutral flavored oil of choice
2 Tbl chopped cilantro
Place the garlic and 1/4 tsp salt into a mortar and grind to a pulp. In a small bowl, combine the garlic with yogurt and curry. Stir in the lemon or lime juice. Whisk in the oil. Add cilantro just before using.
Originally published April 13, 2013; updated with minor corrections