I love springing forward for so many reasons, but a big one for me (especially right now) is the fact that there will be a bigger and more interesting and flavorful selection of fruits and veggies available at the store.
This week, my very favorite mango was available at Sams, by the flat. I have been patiently waiting for their reappearance, checking back every couple of days, and my heart soared when I finally spotted this orange beauty sitting out!
Mango salsa, mango salad, mango smoothies, and this crazy awesome, mango gazpacho are just a few of the many things I make with this super sweet, exotic, and bright tropical fruit.
There are many different varieties, but the smaller, champagne (ataulfo) variety is hands-down my favorite and what I almost exclusively use here in my kitchen.
If you aren’t a big fan of mango, I would guess that you just haven’t had a perfectly ripe, soft, and sweet one yet. It is crazy how they change as they ripen. The really pretty, flawless ones that you see in the store and in ads are not ready to eat and honestly, taste terrible. You have to be super patient with mangoes and allow them to ripen to the withered, ugly state before you eat (devour) them.
If you haven’t had one for a while, follow the above advice on the champagne mango and then let me know what you think!
Now, back to the gazpacho…
Just look at this picture and tell me your mouth isn’t exploding with excitement. Whether it is just me and my hubs having an intimate evening together or if we have a house full of hungry friends, this is one of my favorite ways to start a meal. You can make it well ahead of time and just let it sit and chill in the fridge while you prepare the main course or entertain your guests.
All of the crispy, colorful bits of veggies are such a great contrast with the smooth and creamy mango puree!
I can’t wait for you to try this one. Don’t wait too long…these good mangoes are only here for a couple of months and if you miss your opportunity you will have to wait another season before you can enjoy this beauty of a soup.
As the season progresses, I stock up on the mangoes, big time! They freeze very well, so I peel them and store them in the freezer. That way I can enjoy all of my favorite recipes through the fall and winter months too.
Now go out and buy a flat of these orange beauties and give this recipe a try!
- Perfectly Ripe Mangoes–flesh of 8 or so–about 2 cups
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 c freshly squeezed orange, tangerine, or mandarin juice (I by the whole fruit and use my juicer)
- 1/2 small red onion, chopped into pretty small pieces
- 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 small cucumber, chopped
- 1 small jalapeno pepper
- generous squeeze of lime
- salt and pepper, too taste
- chipotle pepper flakes, too taste
- cilantro for garnish
In a food processor, blender, or vita mix puree the mango, jalapeno, and garlic together. Add the citrus juice (including the lime juice) and mix well.
In a medium bowl add the chopped veggies. Add the mango puree and mix until well incorporated. Add a dash of salt, freshly ground black pepper, and chipotle pepper flakes and mix. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your palate.
Serve in small decorative bowls topped with a generous cilantro garnish.