Serves 2 as a big main course, or 4 if you serve something with it
I don’t have much to say about this dish other than that it is delicious, refreshing, healthy and satisfying. I created this salad on the first scorching hot day of mango season last year, when I got excited about summer and went out and bought a huge bag. It really hit the spot, and I have made it over and over. I found myself craving it a few days ago and thought it was time I shared the recipe here. I often hesitate at sharing such simple things, but then sometimes the simple things are the best.
This salad doesn’t need a dressing, as the acidity from the lime juice, the saltiness from the quinoa and the juice from the mango makes it a ‘self-dressing’ salad. It’s high protein, oil-free and once the quinoa is cooked can be thrown together in five minutes. It makes a wonderful lunch or weeknight dinner, or a fantastic pot-luck or BBQ contribution. To make a serious meal out of it, some grilled chilli tofu on the side would go down a treat.
Just a note – if your salad looks different from mine, that would be because I didn’t have any jicama on hand this time, and only had one carrot. It was still very delicious, but not as nice to look at.
1 cup mixed quinoa
1 tsp salt
1 3/4 cup water
2 med-large sweet mangoes (out of season you can use 5 frozen mango cheeks, just defrost them first)
1 avocado, diced
2 large tomatoes, diced
2 medium carrots, grated
1 small jicama, peeled and julienned (optional, totally not necessary if you can’t find it, but deliciously crunchy if you can)
1/2 cup currants
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
Zest of 1 lime
Handful fresh mint, cut chiffonade
A few good handfuls baby spinach, sliced
Black pepper, to taste
1. Thoroughly rinse the quinoa and place into a saucepan with the water and salt. Bring to the boil, and reduce to a simmer until the water has been absorbed and little tails are peeking out of the quinoa. Turn off the heat, place a piece of paper towel over the quinoa and cover with a lid. Allow to sit 15 minutes, uncover and fluff with a fork. You should have perfectly cooked quinoa with a delightful pop and slightly chewy texture. Leave to cool
2. Meanwhile, cut the cheeks off the mangoes and dice. Cut the skin off the flesh around the pips and squeeze it all off into the bowl, the more juicy and squished up the better. Combined the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and give a good mix. Set aside (in the fridge if it’s a hot day) until the quinoa is ready. Once the quinoa is cool, mix it in. Done. How easy was that?