the appetizer:

Melissa's Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce: A Guide to Easy-to-Make Dishes with Fresh Organic Fruits and Vegetables by Cathy Thomas, includes articles and recipes like Mango; Curried Turkey and Melon Salad; Garden Enchiladas; and Tabbouleh with Edamame and Kumquats.

Cookbook Profile


by Cathy Thomas



No wonder mangoes are the most widely consumed fruit in the world. The soft flesh is sweet and exotic, a blend of pineapple and tree-ripened peach. The scent is an alluring blend of pine forest and tropical jungle. Ataulfo mangoes, sometimes labeled Mexican or Champagne mangoes, are small, kidney-shaped beauties with greenish-yellow to deep golden skin. They have a very sweet flavor profile and their smooth texture isn't the least bit fibrous.

Haden, Kent, and Tommy Atkins varieties are larger and have oval shapes. They have vibrant sweet-tart flavor and are more fibrous than the Ataulfo variety. The Tommy Atkins variety makes up about 70 percent of organic mangoes sold in the U.S.

Grown in subtropical areas, frequent rain prevents pest problems for organically grown mangoes. As with conventionally grown mangoes, organic mangoes are treated with hot water before they are imported into the U.S.

Buying and Storing: Mangoes will ripen after they are harvested. For ripe fruit, look for mangoes that yield to light pressure. Avoid those with loose or shriveled skin. If ripening at home, place at room temperature for 1 to 3 days out of direct sunlight. Or, to speed up ripening, place 2 or more mangoes in loosely sealed paper bag (see page 323 of the book). When ripe, refrigerate in plastic bag up to 3 days.

Prep and Use: Mangoes should always be peeled (some people have an allergic reaction when skin is eaten). To seed, peel, and dice, hold mango on work surface with stem end pointing up. Notice that it is an elliptical shape when viewed from the top. Using sharp knife, make a vertical slice along one of the long sides, about 3/8 inch from stem. If you hit the seed, move knife over a little and try again. Make a second slice on other side, about 3/8 inch from stem. The elongated seed is in the center slice left behind. Place a double layer of clean kitchen towel in your hand. Place one of the seed-free "halves" cut-side up in towel-lined hand. Using small, sharp knife, make parallel diagonal slices across mango about 3/4 inch apart, taking care not to slice through peel. Make second set of slices in opposite direction. Push up the center of the slice on skin side to expose small mango cubes. Run knife just above mango skin to slice away cubes. Repeat with other "half." Peel center slice that contains seed. Cut two long strips from either side of mango seed and dice. Eat raw or cooked (seed and skin should not be eaten). Eat raw out of hand or use in sorbet or cocktails, smoothies, or fruit salads. To cook, include in sweet or savory rice dishes and pork dishes. Southeast Asian cuisines use unripened, green mangoes in tangy salads.


Ataulfo: March to July

Haden, Kent, Tommy Atkins: Year-round

Nutritional Information (per 1 cup sliced, raw): Calories 107, fat calories 4; total fat 0 gram, sat fat o grams, cholesterol 0 milligrams; sodium 3 milligrams; total carbohydrates 28 grams, fiber 3 grams, sugars 28 grams; protein 1 gram; vitamin A IUs 25%; vitamin C 76%; calcium 2%; iron 1%.


Serving Suggestions


Mango Coulis

For vibrant dessert sauce, puree diced mango in blender or food processor until smooth. Spoon over angel food cake, pudding, ice cream, or fruit salad.


Chicken Salad

Add diced mango to chilled chicken salad. If desired, also add a little minced fresh cilantro.


Mango and Mint Salsa

In medium bowl, combine 1 finely diced ripe mango, 1/4 medium red onion (finely diced), 1/2 minced jalapeño chile (seeded), 1-1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint, and 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil. Gently toss and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Use atop grilled chicken, fish, pork, game, or grilled tofu.


Mango Lassi

To make this South Asian smoothie, place 1 cup cold plain yogurt and 1-1/2 cups diced ripe mango in blender; whirl until smooth. Add 1/2 cup cold milk and 1 tablespoon sugar or agave syrup; whirl until smooth.


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Melissa's Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce

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This page created July 2010