Mango and Avocado Salad

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I Love Salad. Not just because it’s a light and healthy dish, but because you can do so much with it. You can have just some simply dressed greens to go along side a main course, or have the salad itself be the main course by bulking it up with lots of delicious ingredients. I personally like it when you can taste all the components that make up the salad, not just greens with gobs of dressing that prevent you from enjoying any other flavors. Sometimes as I said I just make a simply flavored vinaigrette tossed with mixed baby greens, sometimes I add different vegetables, protein, nuts, seeds, or fruit. In this recipe, I use a little of everything. I chose a nice ripe, fresh mango, a cool and creamy avocado, sweet red onion, and made a batch of a sweet and spicy candied walnuts to top it all off. The dressing is a vinaigrette flavored with apple cider vinegar, honey, dijon, fresh garlic and extra virgin olive oil. It’s full of flavor but not so heavy as to mask all the other wonderful ingredients. When I make these candied walnuts I have to make sure to make plenty because when they come out of the oven they are truly hard to resist. Just make sure you cool them before popping them into your mouth! As I have learned the hard way you can easily burn your mouth if you’re too impatient! These are just some of our favorite flavors but of course you can change it up to your liking. I’ve used papaya, sweet roasted beets, roasted pears, and also have added chunks of goat cheese for extra creamy tangy flavor. So experiment and have fun while eating your fruit and veggies. Let me know some of your favorite combos too! Enjoy!

imageStart by gathering up all of the ingredients that you’ll need for the salad and preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place your walnuts in a saute pan with about 1/2 inch of water, and bring the nuts and water to a boil. Let the nuts boil for about 5 minutes to slightly blanch them. This removes any bitterness from the walnuts and prepares them for the sugar mixture in the next step. After 5 minutes of boiling, take the walnuts out and lightly dry them in a clean kitchen towel or paper towels.

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Now in a separate small bowl, combine the sugar, cayenne pepper and salt.

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Toss them to combine…

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Add your blanched walnuts to your sugar mixture and toss the walnuts to coat them.

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Next pour the coated walnuts onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, and bake them for about 15 minutes until they are toasted and glistening with the candy coating. Set them aside and let them cool.

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On to the salad ingredients. Cut the mango and avocado into a large dice, and thinly slice your red onion. Place them into a small bowl and set them aside while you put your mixed greens into a large bowl and make the vinaigrette.

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For the vinaigrette, take a clove of garlic and mince it into some salt , pressing it into the salt with the side of your knife to make a paste..

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Like this…

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and place it in a medium bowl along with the apple cider vinegar, honey, and dijon mustard. Whisk these together.

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While continuing to whisk, slowly add in your extra virgin olive oil, and continue to whisk your vinaigrette until it is emulsified.

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Take some of your vinaigrette and dress the mango, avocado, and red onion first separately….

imageThen use the rest to dress your greens.

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Plate your salad and top with the candied walnuts… If you haven’t snacked on all of them already 🙂 Yum! Enjoy!!

Mango Avocado Salad (Yields: 2 servings)

Ingredients:

6 c Mixed Baby Greens

1 Ripe Mango, large dice

1 Ripe Hass Avocado, large dice

1/2 Medium Red Onion, thinly sliced

2 c Walnuts, shelled

2 Tbs Granulated Sugar

1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper

1/4 tsp Kosher Salt

1 Garlic Clove, finely minced

1 tsp Kosher Salt

Ground Black Pepper, to taste

1 Tbs Honey

1 1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard

1 Tbs Apple Cider Vinegar

3 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Procedure:

1. Place your walnuts in a saute pan with about 1/2 inch of water, and bring the nuts and water to a boil. Let the nuts boil for about 5 minutes to slightly blanch them. This removes any bitterness from the walnuts and prepares them for the sugar mixture in the next step. After 5 minutes of boiling, take the walnuts out and lightly dry them in a clean kitchen towel or paper towels.

2. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cayenne pepper and salt, toss them to combine.

3. Add your blanched walnuts to your sugar mixture and toss the walnuts to coat them. Next pour the sugar coated walnuts onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, and bake them for about 15 minutes until they are toasted and glistening with the candy coating. set them aside and let them cool.

4. On to the salad ingredients. Cut the mango and avocado into a large dice, and thinly slice your red onion. Place them into a small bowl and set them aside while you put your mixed greens into a large bowl and make the vinaigrette.

Apple Cider Vinaigrette:

1. Take a clove of garlic and mince it into some salt , pressing it into the salt with the side of your knife to make a paste.

2. Place the garlic paste in a medium bowl along with the apple cider vinegar, honey, and dijon mustard. Whisk these together. While continuing to whisk. slowly add in your extra virgin olive oil, and continue to whisk your vinaigrette until it is emulsified. Add ground black pepper to taste.

3. Take some of your vinaigrette and dress the mango, avocado, and red onion first separately. Then use the rest to dress your greens. Plate your salad and top with the candied walnuts.

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