© Copyright 1995-2017, Clay Irving <email@example.com>, Manhattan Beach, CA USA
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Recipe from: Lynne Rosetto Kasper
1 large mango, cut into ½-inch dice (see Cook's Tip)
2 tablespoons canola or other mild cooking oil
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
grated zest and juice of 2 limes
1 tablespoons fish sauce
½ to 1 teaspoon Thai chile paste
1 pounds shrimp, grilled or boiled and peeled
1 large head butter lettuce, torn
1 cup sugar snap peas, strings removed and cut into bite-sized pieces
3 green onions, including several inches of green, thinly sliced
1 Reed or other avocado, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup small cherry tomatoes, preferably Sun Gold, stemmed
½ cup each fresh mint and basil (preferably Thai or opal) leaves, torn
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, torn
To make the dressing, put one-fourth of the mango, the oil, vinegar, lime juice, fish sauce, and chile paste in a blender and process until smooth. You should have 1 cup; set aside. Place the shrimp, lettuce, peas, green onions, avocado, tomatoes, remaining mango, lime zest, basil, mint, and cilantro leaves in a large bowl. Toss the salad with just enough of the dressing to coat well. Reserve the rest for another use; it will keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.
How to Choose Mangoes:
Seek out fragrant, smooth-skinned fruits that give a little (like a ripe avocado) when cupped in your hand. Ripe mangoes will keep on the counter for up to 1 week, and in the refrigerator for up to 1 month with some dehydration (skin will start to shrivel).
To peel and cut a mango, stand the fruit on one end and, using a serrated knife, cut from top to bottom, running the blade close to the large, flat pit. Turn the mango and repeat on the opposite side. With the tip of your knife, cut a ½- to 1-inch crosshatch pattern into the flesh without cutting through the skin. Push the skin side upward to expose the cubes and cut them away from the skin. Use a spoon to scoop out any remaining flesh, and cut away and usable flesh attached to the pit.
Reed avocados are available in summer and early fall in some parts of the country. Their thick, pebbly skin remains green when ripe, unlike other varieties that turn dark. As with all avocados, it is ripe when it yields to gentle pressure when held in the palm of your hand. The Hass variety is a good substitute.
Thai basil has small leaves on purple stems, a licorice scent and a spicy, stronger flavor than the more familiar sweet basil. Opal basil has pretty purple leaves and stems and a clove-like aroma. Less common varieties of basil like these are often available at farmers' markets during the summer and early fall.
Shop Asian markets for ingredients like fish sauce and chile paste. You'll find a larger selection and often lower prices. One reliable brand of fish sauce has three crabs on the label. Once opened, store both in the refrigerator where they will hold easily for six months.
Excerpted from The Santa Monica Farmers' Market Cookbook: Seasonal Foods, Simple Recipes, and Stories from the Market and Farm by Amelia Saltsman. Reprinted with permission from Blenheim Press, Santa Monica, CA. Copyright 2007 by Amelia Saltsman.