As the summer days get hotter, I am witnessing a crescendo of.. mangoes!! They rolled into the markets in small numbers at the start of the season in March, expensive and aloof; by the time the harvest peaked this month they are suddenly all over the place, humble and reachable.
The summer mango frenzy is in full swing right now with all and sundry making earnest attempts to reincarnate it: street vendors squeezing fresh mango juice, fashionable bars mixing mango martinis and restaurants launching mango mini-festivals featuring exotic avant-garde mango curiosities.
For me, however, these simple five quickie ready-in-less-than-30-minutes mango recipes are working very well this season:
#1 – Mango Crisp: Mix 5 cups of ripe sliced mangoes with 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Place in a buttered baking dish. Set aside. Combine 1/4 cup softened butter and 1/2 cup brown sugar until well blended. Cut in 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. Mix until crumbly. Sprinkle the topping evenly over prepared mango slices. Cook in microwave oven 9 to 11 minutes on HIGH power. Serve cold with ice cream.
#2 – Mango Smoothie: Blend 1 cup peeled and diced mango, 1 cup plain or vanilla nonfat yogurt and 1/2 cup crushed ice in a blender or food processor. If too thick, add a little milk. Makes 2 servings.
#3 – Chicken and Mango Salad: Combine 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/4 cup flat-leaf chopped parsley leaves, 1 long chopped red chilli in a small bowl. Combine 2 1/2 cups chopped roasted chicken with skin removed, 2 mangoes, peeled, cut into 1cm cubes and 100g mixed salad greens in a large bowl. Drizzle over chilli dressing. Toss lightly to combine.
#4 – Mango Salsa: Combine 1 peeled and diced mango, 1/2 cup cucumber, 1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno, 1/3 cup diced red onion, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1/3 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves and mix well. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve warm. Use as a meat accompaniment or as a delicious topping.
#5 – Mango Chutney: Combine 2 cups water, 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped sweet onion, 2 cups coarsely chopped mango, 1 cup snipped dried tomatoes, 1 cup raisins and 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried red pepper flakes a 3-quart saucepan; bring to a boil and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, or until tomatoes are softened. Now add 1/2 cup light brown sugar, 1/3 cup red wine vinegar and 2 teaspoons white vinegar and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most liquid has been absorbed. Cool and pack in air-tight containers. Serve with grilled chicken.