10 April 2006

SALSA for a non-Salsa night

Thanks to the get-up-and-go of my lovely wife, we've been taking Salsa lessons together for the last month or so. Tonight would have been our last class, but she's a little under the weather, so we skipped it for a quiet night at home.

I'm not sure that I ever effectively learned to "unlock" my hips, but we do now have a few salsa steps to store away in our repertoire of dance moves. I'm sure that the few steps and spins that we know are just the tip of the tip of the iceberg.

Regardless, in honour of the end of Monday night salsa classes, I present to you a recipe for Marshal's Mango Salsa. It's super easy, very versatile, and a great way to add both colour and flavour to a variety of dishes. [For the record, SALSA means sauce. So don't call it a "salsa sauce", please!]

Cilantro, limes and mangoes are available year-round in just about every supermarket. They're all cheap, too - even in the winter months. If you're not familiar with cilantro, look for the green bunch of herbs next to the parsley. Cilantro is the one that looks a lot like flat-leafed parsley. Should be labelled, too!

2 very ripe mangoes (not rotten - check for brownish flesh, discard if you find it), washed
1-2 tbsp finely minced red onion OR 2 finely minced green onions (the white part, plus a bit of the stalk)
fresh lime (you can use lemon, but lime is better)
fresh cilantro (rinsed and patted dry)
fresh parsley (optional. rinse and pat dry, as well)
pepper and salt

This is really simple.

Peel your mangoes with a paring knife. Slice the flesh away from the pit, chop it all up loosely (preserving the juice too). Throw mango and juice into a medium sized glass bowl.

Chop a big handful of cilantro. Remove the larger stalks, but don't worry about the smaller stems/stalks.

If you're using it, do the same with a small handful of parsley.

Too arbitrary? Okay, try for about 1/3 cup chopped of cilantro, and about 1/8 cup of parsley. You want the cilantro to be highly evident, and the parsley to just be complementary.

Toss in with mango. Grind fresh pepper over the bowl, and sprinkle in some salt (better to err on the side of caution).

Slice the lime in half. Using a juice squeezer (or by hand), squeeze all the juice out of both halves into your mango mix.

Toss everything to mix it up real well. Taste, and add more lime, salt and pepper to taste.

Cover, refrigerate for at least one hour to allow flavours to meld together. Keeps for days.

Makes a great condiment for burgers, baked or grilled chicken, and fish, among other things.

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