On a recent trip to my hometown of Montreal, my sisters and I were inspired to make a fresh and healthy meal together after traipsing through the Atwater Market.
Using fresh ingredients and our favorite herbs and flavors, we created an amazing mango salad that needed no dressing at all.
I quickly pickled a red onion based on this recipe that I’ve made before. But to be honest, I didn’t even measure any of the ingredients or look at the recipe and proportions. We didn’t have enough rice wine vinegar so I used what we did have then topped it up with white balsamic, which I brought to a boil with some sugar, salt and pepper. I omitted the mustard seed and bay leaf because we didn’t have those either but no big deal, the onions still came out great. Once the vinegar came to a boil, I removed it from the heat and tossed in one whole red onion, sliced thinly. I let the onion sit in the vinegar cooling and pickling for about 45 minutes and then strained the pretty hot-pink slices and threw them right into the salad bowl.
It’s worth the effort because in this salad, the flavor from the pickled onions replaces the need for dressing. I think pickled onions are my new favorite ingredient. I can’t seem to stop making them and adding them to everything.
My sister came up with the idea to add grated ginger and lime zest, which brought so many layers of flavor to this colorful salad. She also chopped up the mint and cilantro extremely finely, which helped distribute the herbs evenly throughout, making sure every bite had a nice mix of each.
To assemble the salad – Mix in a large bowl:
3-4 Mangos, sliced into thin strips
Yellow, Red or Orange Pepper, sliced into thin strips
1 Pickled Red Onion, in slices
Fresh Cilantro, chopped very finely
Fresh Mint, chopped very finely
Grate a good amount of fresh ginger directly into the bowl
Add the grated zest and juice of 1 lime into the bowl and mix it all together.
We served this refreshing salad with bun-less homemade lamb burgers and oven-roasted kale ‘chips’ which you can make in a flash for one of the healthiest and tastiest side dishes ever. I always feel so good after eating kale and this is a great way to get a good dose of the healthy green.
To make the ‘chips’: (yes I know, they’re not really chips, but they’re an awesome alternative and they seriously taste amazing!)
Throw a bunch of cleaned and dried kale onto a baking sheet, brush with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Then toss into a 400-degree oven for about 5-8 minutes, until crispy. Don’t overcook the kale though, because the ‘crispier’ it gets, the more of a mess it is to eat. You just want the flowery edges to be nice and crispy and the stems to be soft and tender.