Cuban Mango Avocado Salad

Mango Avocado Salad

Summer is a celebration of all that is tropical and good in this world. Mangoes, lychees, avocado, mamey, anones, and star fruit galore- this is what my summer is made of. Summer in South Florida is filled with ripe mangoes and everyone you know either has a mango tree or a friend or relative with a mango tree.

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The air around homes with mango trees is sweet with ripe and rotting fruit baking in the hot Florida sun as many don’t pick or enjoy the fresh mangoes fast enough and they fall to the ground fermenting. When I lived in Coral Gables I would walk my dog Chloe and mangoes would literally fall at my feet from neighboring trees. Coral Gables is a tropical paradise with limestone houses, shady banyan canopies and palm lined streets. In the summer the tree lines are often dotted with red ripe mangoes and bright lychees ready to fall at a moment’s notice. You might even catch a Macaw on the branches or a tall white Egret on your street corner. This recipe is the cousin of the classic Cuban avocado salad with the addition of fruit. Cuban mango avocado salad is a simple summer recipe that uses the freshest of seasonal ingredients and lets the ripe fruit shine.

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The scent of ripe mango will always remind me of South Florida summers and riding home with Publix bags filled with this tropical delicacy from family and friends fortunate enough to have a mango tree of their own! This summer Cuban mango and avocado salad is perfect for grills, picnics, large parties, and quick and easy meals.

Mango Avocado Salad

Cuban Mango Avocado Salad

  • 1 avocado diced
  • 1 ripe mango diced
  • Pickled red onions
  • 4-6 small heirloom tomatoes quartered
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp pickling juices

Marinated Red Onions

  • 1 small red onion  sliced
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 5-7 juniper berries
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Enough water to cover the red onion

Soak the sliced red onions in cold ice water. Soak for 20 minutes and then drain. The thin film on the red onion will naturally separate and becomes easy to peel right off like in the picture below. Next add the red wine vinegar, sugar, and juniper berries (optional), and make sure to top with water to cover. Let the red onions marinate for at least 30 minutes covered in the fridge.

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Dice the mango and quarter the tomatoes. Add diced avocado* and top the salad with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the marinated red onions to your taste. Drizzle the mango avocado salad with the olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Gently mix and enjoy! Try this recipe with roasted chicken, anything off the grill, fresh fish, really anything you like and make sure to enjoy the summer produce while it lasts.

Cuban-Mango-Avocado-Salad-Patio-Party

**Note: I used Haas avocados in this recipe, but the crisper watery Florida avocado is my favorite here. Sadly I could not find them in New York, so the creamy Haas will have to suffice.

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Cuban Avocado Salad + Breakfast

                Cuban-Avocado-Salad-+-breakfast

Cuban Avocado Salad is a classic staple in Cuban households, where salad greens were seldom seen. Comprised of crisp avocado and onion; sometimes tomato, this salad is great with any Cuban meal.  Usually salads at your local Latin-American will be either a delicious avocado salad or a lackluster version of this. What you have here, my friends, is my version of Cuban avocado salad. For this salad we use Florida Avocados. While I do like Haas avocados as well, they aren’t the true kind for the salad; the Florida variety are more crisp and watery than the creamier texture of the Haas. Florida Avocados are much larger than the tiny Haas and are bright green on the outside, they tend to ripen fast.

        Cuban-Avocado-Salad       Florida-Avocado

Soaking the red onions in red wine vinegar and water gives a nice bright flavor to the avocado; and a squeeze of lemon is not to be forgotten. For breakfast I’ll often make the Cuban avocado salad with a split English muffin or Cuban bread and a soft-boiled egg on top, smashed into the buttered bread. With a cafecito on the side?! Ño! Que rico!

           UpClose-Salad

Cuban Avocado Salad + Breakfast

1 large Florida Avocado
1/2 small red onion or 1 Shallot thinly sliced
Grape tomatoes, halved (optional)
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon water
Garnish with a squeeze of lemon juice or lime

First, slice the red onion and soak them in the red wine vinegar and water with a little bit of salt (a pinch of sugar can add some oomph too). Dice the avocado and half the grape tomatoes (I thought I had tomatoes, but turns out I didn’t! So I didn’t use them today…). Dress with olive oil, salt and pepper. Take the red onions out of the vinegar and sprinkle on the salad. Squeeze a lemon or lime wedge on top for garnish.

IngredientsMarinated-ShallotsDiced-Avocado

I served this with a 100 Calorie Thomas English Muffin and a small pat of unsalted butter. In order to successfully soft boil your eggs put a pot of salted water to boil. Once the water is boiling gently lower the room temperature eggs into the water; reduce the heat to low and cover (I forgot to cover my pot and they turned out fine!). The eggs may slightly crack with ribbons of egg whites floating around them, but this did not affect my eggs, they were still perfectly soft-boiled despite small cracks. Set your timer for 5 minutes (6 if you like your egg whites more firm). Immediately run under cool water and peel them carefully.* Smash into toast and enjoy with Cuban avocado salad.

   Before-Smashing-the-Egg     After-Smashing

 *Hint: Older eggs peel better!

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