Summer Salad with Mango, Cucumber, Avocado, and Curry Vinaigrette

by Gena on July 18, 2012

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It’s another scorcher here in DC.

Temperatures like this tend to diminish even the most robust of appetites (mine), so I often turn to a large, nutrient dense smoothie when it tops 100 degrees. Today, however, I just wasn’t in the mood to sip my lunch (it’s never quite as satisfying as chewing a meal, is it?), so I turned instead to a refreshing, summery salad with mango, cucumber, avocado, and curry vinaigrette. I was not dissapointed; though I threw this one together rather randomly, using ingredients I had at home, I loved it, and it’s likely to be a new staple salad.

A few years ago, I confessed to a raw foodist friend that I didn’t much care for mango. She looked at me as if I’d just confessed to disliking babies or puppies. “I know,” I said. “I’m pretty weird about fruit.” This is true: I disliked most fruit as a child, and to this day I have certain strong aversions (I’ll eat watermelon on a hot day, but it’s not my favorite; I tend not to eat stone fruits unless I blend them into something, and I can’t bring myself to eat kiwi no matter how much I read about its rich stores of Vitamin C). I like to think, though, that blogging has opened me up to many fruits. Green smoothies encourage me to eat more pineapple and citrus, and lately, I’m loving cherries as a mid-morning snack. Most shockingly of all, I’m really warming up to mango, so long as it’s fresh and ripe, and now’s the right moment in the year for it.

Not surprisingly, I suppose, the way I learned to love mango was by throwing it into my meal-sized salads. (I wonder if you could persuade me to eat just about any food by putting it in the right salad? Probably.) This mango and avocado kale salad is now a favorite of mine:

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…and I recently made a spicy mango and tomato salad that I loved, too. Today’s salad—a random mix of greens, mango, red pepper, and a curry dressing that brought it all together beautifully—is my new favorite, and I hope it’ll be one of yours, too.

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Summer Salad with Mango, Cucumber, Avocado, and Curry Vinaigrette (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Serves 1

2-3 heaping cups baby greens
1/2 cup diced mango
1/3 cup diced red pepper
1/2 cup chickpeas
1/2 small cucumber, sliced thin into rounds
1/4 avocado

For the dressing (you’ll have some leftover):

2 tbsp avocado, flax, olive, sacha inchi, or hemp oil
1 tbsp (more if you like things tart) apple cider vinegar
1 tsp curry powder
2 tsp maple syrup
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all salad ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Whisk together dressing ingredients, and top salad with just enough to suit your taste. Don’t overdress: the flavors in this salad are delicate! Serve.

Sweet, spicy, and savory all at once:

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And such a burst of color!

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This salad would be a really good appetizer for summer dinner parties, as well as a good weekday lunch. If serving as a meal, I’d suggest serving with some of your favorite raw crackers (I’m working on a flax cracker recipe this week, so I’ve been going through tons; that was my side dish!), some seared tempeh for extra protein, or a small fruit smoothie as a nice and refreshing dessert.

Happy munching to you all, and see you here tomorrow.

xo

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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Brittany @ Eating Bird Food July 18, 2012 at 2:09 pm

This looks delicious Gena. I have a mango that I’ve been meaning to use and now I know exactly what to do with it.

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Nikki July 18, 2012 at 2:46 pm

For as much as I love mango I have yet to put it in a salad. This is like one of my green smoothies, slightly deconstructed :)

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janet @ the taste space July 18, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Looks like a fantastic summer salad, Gena! I am glad you have warmed up to mangoes, but let me tell you that not all mangoes are created equal. Only tried the big green Tommy Atkins? Well, that is where one makes their first mistake.. The Mexican Altaufo is probably the easiest to find that tastes good… then after that, the Indian Alphonso and Pakistani Honey mangoes are uber glorious… so smooth and sweet. Problem is the cost and they have a limited season and availability. I can only get the Alphonso in Little India for 2-3 weeks in May.. Honey mangoes come out late in the summer, though, so I will have to keep my eyes peeled.

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Janae @ Bring-Joy July 18, 2012 at 2:57 pm

I agree Janet. Watch out for those green, hard ones, that’ll kill anyone’s taste for mangoes, for sure! But when you get a ripe, juicy one–nothing like it.

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Gena July 19, 2012 at 5:20 am

Thank you, Janet! Invaluable insight into the world of mangoes :)

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Janae @ Bring-Joy July 18, 2012 at 2:56 pm

What is about the heat that kills the appetite? Kinda nice for weight control, I suppose. I’m moving to San Antonio soon b/c my husband will be stationed with the AF there & I think it will be a lot easier to eat more raw foods when I live there.

(I too love mangos, especially in salsa.)

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Heather @ For the Love of Kale July 18, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Do we have ESP?! The answer is yes. I made curry guacamole yesterday!

…i love you.

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Averie @ Averie Cooks July 18, 2012 at 3:20 pm

I love mango in anything and in a salad, totally perfect!

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Amy July 18, 2012 at 3:24 pm

You know you’ve got a great dressing recipe when I got up to make a batch only to come back and realize that I didn’t finish reading the post the whole way through! It’s super! (though I subbed out almond butter for the oil)

Also, I don’t know if I could eat grocery store mangoes – I’m fortunate to have them fresh from the tree and I’m spoiled. It’s kind of like getting tomatoes from store vs. heirloom tomatoes from the farmer’s market – they’re picked for stores so under-ripe :( What Janet says, is good, too, though – its worth trying different varieties!

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Skye July 18, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Yum, this dressing sounds delicious! I’ve never liked mangoes, either (and I love most fruits), but maybe one day I’ll warm up to them like you have!

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Lea July 18, 2012 at 3:55 pm

I’m the opposite, I’ve always loved fruit. I was really picky as a kid and fruit was one of the few things I loved eating.
That salad looks awesome.

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Lisa @ The Raw Serenity July 18, 2012 at 4:04 pm

I am always amazed when people tell me they don’t like mangos or watermelon!
For years my mum told me I’d hate them just so she coud eat have them all to herself (so remembering this for When I have kids!)
This salad looks amazing and fresh. Thanks for sharing x

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Christa @ Edible Balance July 18, 2012 at 4:17 pm

gorgeous salad! I am loving avocado and mango in everything right now! This is perfect :)

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Bianca- Vegan Crunk July 18, 2012 at 4:41 pm

I’m with you on fruit. I’m just not as crazy about it. I work it into my pre-workout smoothies or cereal because I know I need to, but I’d choose a veggie over a fruit any day.

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Eileen July 18, 2012 at 8:35 pm

This salad sounds like an amazing lunch for sultry days! I’m especially interested in the curry avocado dressing–most intriguing.

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Tricia July 18, 2012 at 9:41 pm

Would lemon juice be a good substitute for vinegar? I don’t like to use vinegar in my recipes, but lemon juice isn’t always a good substitute. What would you suggest?

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Gena July 19, 2012 at 5:21 am

I think both lemon and lime (or a combo of the two) would work well!

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Stefania @ Revitalize with Stefania July 18, 2012 at 10:02 pm

That looks perfect for this heat and humidity.

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JohannaGGG July 18, 2012 at 10:57 pm

I get that look when I say I don’t like mango – I love most fruit but am still a little underwhelmed by melons and I just can’t bring myself to like mango – I think it is all the orange and mango drinks I had as a child which were never my favourite – but your post gives me hope I might learn to love it

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Gena July 19, 2012 at 5:21 am

I’m also underwhelmed (good way to put it) by melon!

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Christine (The Raw Project) July 18, 2012 at 11:22 pm

Wow, this salad looks divine, I adore mango with curry and what a beautiful presentation!

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Hannah July 18, 2012 at 11:30 pm

High five! I can’t count the number of times I’ve almost been de-citizenised as an Australian for admitting that mango is not my most favourite of all the things. But I do like it in small doses. Like here. Yes.

Mmmm, heat. Although, in all fairness, it’s one of Canberra’s gorgeous sunny winter days today, so I’m not *as* envious.

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Tracy July 19, 2012 at 10:45 am

I love mangoes but they don’t love me. I get a rash wherever the mango skin touches me so I stopped eating them, so sad! I will make this salad with a different fruit though as it sounds delicious.

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Amy July 20, 2012 at 7:47 pm

Mangoes have similar chemicals (though in much lower quantities!) in their skins as poison ivy, however, that chemical is NOT in the flesh. If you have someone who will peel them for you, you should be completely fine!

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Gena July 21, 2012 at 9:38 pm

I second this!

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Half-Crazed Runner July 19, 2012 at 11:29 am

This looks great! Thanks for sharing!

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Karen July 19, 2012 at 3:32 pm

You know, I don’t care for mangoes either. Guess it time to try them out; I do feel like I’m missing something. The salad looks lovely!

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Mel S. {Sams Juicers} July 19, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Woah- that looks super yum!! I am drooling over here! Mangoes and avocado in any salad = incredible!

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Lexi @ You, Me, & A World to See July 20, 2012 at 1:05 pm

The curry vinaigrette sounds awesome. I love the idea of using avocado as a base :)

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Stan Starsky July 20, 2012 at 5:29 pm

Good stuff…And I appreciate the fruit confession although I love mango.

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Cadry July 23, 2012 at 8:45 am

I made this last night for dinner, using kale instead of baby greens. It was so delicious and a great change of pace from my usual dressing. I served it with a Masala burger from Trader Joe’s. Such an easy and quick meal! Thanks!

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Mizpah @ The Raw Food Solution July 27, 2012 at 11:34 am

This is my kind of salad! Sweet and spicy with one of my favorite combinations – mango and avocado. Yum :)

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