Green Salad with Cukes and Mangoes

by Gretchen
(Fairfax, CA)

Romaine lettuce (2-3 hearts, or half a large head)

Cucumber (2-3 baby, or half large)

Mango (2-3 ataulfo, or 1-2 larger variety)

Tomato (3-4 medium)

Cilantro (a good handful, or more if you like it)

Cut or tear lettuce into bite-sized pieces, slice cucumber, and put into a large salad bowl. You might want to peel the cucumber if you’re using a larger variety, or if it has wax on the skin. Cut mango into cubes (see below), place in bowl, and do the same with the tomatoes. Finally, chop cilantro and add that. Toss and serve! This is so yummy, and it doesn’t even need any added fat to be delicious. When I first went raw, I ate this salad almost every night. This is what I would eat myself for dinner, but you can also use it to serve several people as a side dish. The proportions are flexible, so feel free to add more or less of something according to your taste. It’s actually really good without the lettuce, as a chopped salad.

Mangoes; there are many varieties of mangoes available during the year at markets where I live (San Francisco Bay Area). My favorite by far is the ataulfo mango, also known as the champagne or manila mango. It’s smaller than other common varieties, and creamier without the stringy texture that many other types have. It’s ready to eat when it’s butter yellow in color, and when the skin just starts to wrinkle. All mangoes imported into the U.S. are heat treated, so raw purists may not want to indulge, but I haven’t noticed any adverse effects.

There are several ways of prepping the flesh of the mango into cubes. One of the easiest is to slice down vertically, as close to the pit as you can. Lay this slice skin-side down and make approximately three parallel cuts through the flesh, almost to the skin beneath. Then turn 90 degrees and make more parallel cuts. Invert the skin so cubes of mango are pointing outward, and slice the flesh away from the skin. Repeat on the other side. Finally, cut the skin off the center section, and carefully cut the flesh away from the pit (or just eat this last part out of hand – yum!)

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