Mangoes are my favorite fruit. They are commonly grown in areas of Asia, Mexico as well as in other warm countries. The flesh of a mango is bright yellow or orange, juicy, sweet and slightly tart (when half-ripened). This sensory experience usually makes me forget that I’m merely eating a fruit. I often incorporate the exotic mango in my Indian, Mexican and California dishes.

In my home, this “hot” Mango Salsa is in such high demand that it doesn’t last very long. When preparing the salsa, you won’t be able to stop yourself from “tasting” at least half of it. Be sure to double up on the ingredients when you go shopping or there will be nothing left for your guests!

Buen Provecho (Spanish, for “Bon Appetit”).

Prep time: 15 to 20 minutes
Makes: 3 cups

2 large, ripe mangos, peeled and diced
2 to 3 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped green bell pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped red bell pepper
½ jalapeño pepper, minced
Juice of ½ a lime or lemon
Dash chipotle ahumado powder* (optional)
1 tablespoon white Balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt

1. Combine all ingredients in a 1 or 2-quart mixing bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings.

2. Stir and serve immediately.

3. Alternatively, the salsa can be refrigerated 2 to 4 hours before serving.

As an appetizer, serve Mango Salsa with tortilla chips or tostada shells.

Mango Salsa can be served as part of a salad course or as a side dish, complementing poultry, meat or fish.

Note: Mango Salsa is best served the same day, but will keep refrigerated up to two days. Overnight, the mango’s texture becomes soft and the salsa mixture is slightly watery but still delicious.

*Chipotle ahumado powder can be purchased online at gourmetsleuth.com.

Text & Photograph © 2011 Nancy DeLucia Real