Champagne Mangoes

I suppose to classify this as a “farmers” market find is a little bit of a white lie, unless of course you live in Central Mexico. Then you will be able to find these gems at your local farmers market. For the rest of us, it’s off to Whole Foods, which is where I found them last week. I don’t care if they came from Mars, these mangoes are A-MAZE-ING.

They have a beautiful, smooth, thick yellow-orange-pink skin, and the flesh inside is smooth as butter. I have always liked mangoes, but these are different. They’re sweeter than your run of the mill mangoes, and the flesh is less fibrous, yielding a really smooth, fleshy meat that will make you want to bite right into them.

Upon initial taste, the champagne mango screamed out to be paired with ripe avocado, so I did just that. This is a little recipe that is part salad, part dessert, part appetizer, part side and it’s really perfect for any meal. Or call it a one-dish dinner, because you may just want to eat a lot of it.

Mangoes aren’t perfectly round – they will be sort of flat-ish. There’s a fibrous pit in the middle that you’ll need to cut around. This pit shaped like the mango, so you’ll need to slice around it so the pieces are long and thin. You will end up with three slices – a long thinner slice from the right side of the pit, a middle slice that has the pit, and a long thinner slice from the left side.

If you find yourself staring one down unsure of how to tackle it, you have two options:

  1. Peel the entire piece of fruit with a vegetable peeler and stand it up on the end on a clean dishtowel on top of a cutting board (so it won’t slip). Starting at the top, slice down the vertical pole of the mango, as mentioned above. Repeat on the other side of the fruit. Discard the middle. Further cut the fruit as desired.
  2. Skip the peeling and cut as described above. Holding one of the pieces in a dish towel, use a small sharp paring knife to cut a checker board pattern in the fruit, going all the way to (but not through) the skin. The dishtowel is a little extra insurance that you don’t cut straight through to your hand. Then use a spoon to scoop out the chunks. Or, flip the piece inside out and serve it that way for a pretty presentation.

Here’s a video in case that description made absolutely no sense.

Avocados sort of scare people sometimes because it is sort of tricky to figure out when they are ripe. I think it’s good to equate them to bananas – you want an avocado that feels about the same as a ripe banana. They actually hold up well in the fridge for a few days when already ripened, so if you find yourself only eating half, leave the pit in the second half, pop it into a Tupperware and refrigerate. It will turn a little brown around the edges, but will certainly be good to eat the next day. Unsure how to cut into an avocado? Check out this Epicurious video. Enjoy!

Champagne Mango & Avocado Salad

Click here to print this recipe.
Time to prepare: 5 minutes
Serves: 2 – 3 as a side dish

1 ripe avocado, sliced or diced to your preference
1 Champagne mango, sliced or diced to your preference
2 tablespoons small-diced red onion
Good quality olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon, preferably a Meyer lemon (but any citrus will work)
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

Toss the avocado, mango, and onion together, drizzle with some olive oil and fresh citrus juice. Top with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

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