Here’s another juicy addition to the long list of summer fruits to look for in June: mangoes. While they may not be local, the tropical gems hit their peak at the start of hot weather in nearby Mexico, Central America, and even Florida. “Most people don’t know that Florida has had a mango industry since the early 1900s,” explains Louise E. King, president of the Tropical Fruit Growers of South Florida.
King offers some surprising advice when shopping for mangoes. “Don’t necessarily look for color as an indication of ripeness,” she explains. “Just as different apples have different colored skin, mango varieties can vary as well. The important thing is to choose plump, fi rm fruit that’s a little bit fragrant.” King also says to look for rounded “shoulders” by the stem end that show the mango was picked when it was mature.
“Mangoes are like peaches because they’ll ripen on the counter and are ready to eat when they give a bit under pressure,” King adds. Bright orange mango fl esh has a spicier, more exotic taste than that of a peach, but a similar texture, so you can use it in place of the stone fruit to jazz up salads, salsas, crumbles, and ice cream. But the best way to eat a mango? “Over the kitchen sink, just like a really ripe peach or summer tomato,” laughs King. “That way you can enjoy the whole fruit without worrying about the dripping juice!”
MANGO-WRAPPED BANANAS Serves 4 - 30 minutes or fewer
Wrapping banana chunks with mango and topping them with mashed raspberries turns morning fruit into sushi-style beauties worthy of Sunday brunch. Use a Y-shaped vegetable peeler to cut the mango into long, thin strips that are pliable enough to wrap around banana chunks.
1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
2 Tbs. fresh orange juice
2 Tbs. honey
1 large mango, peeled
3 bananas, peeled
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
Whisk together yogurt, orange juice, and honey in small bowl. Set aside.
Cut mango from top to base into 16 4½- x 1-inch strips using vegetable peeler. Cut bananas into 16 1-inch pieces. Wrap 1 mango strip around each banana piece. Arrange on plates cut-side up.
Mash raspberries in separate bowl until slightly liquid, but still chunky. Spoon mashed raspberries atop center of each mango-wrapped banana piece. Serve with yogurt sauce.
PER SERVING: 169 CAL; 3 G PROT; 1 G TOTAL FAT (0.5 G SAT. FAT); 42 G CARB; 1 MG CHOL; 17 MG SOD; 4 G FIBER; 30 G SUGARS
MANGO SALSA Makes 3 cups - Vegan - 30 minutes or fewer
Smoked paprika comes from Spain, not Hungary, and lends rich flavor to this sweet and spicy salsa. Serve with corn chips, or try as a sauce on grilled tofu steaks.
2 mangoes, peeled, pitted, and diced (2 cups)
1 large yellow bell pepper, finely chopped (1 cup)
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 Tbs. lime juice
1 red jalapeño chile, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
Toss together all ingredients in small bowl. Season with salt and additional paprika, if desired.
PER 1/4-CUP SERVING: 25 CAL; 1 G PROT; 0 G TOTAL FAT (0 G SAT. FAT); 6 G CARB; 0 MG CHOL; 98 MG SOD; 1 G FIBER; 5 G SUGARS
CHILLED NOODLE SALAD WITH MANGO Serves 4 - Vegan
This is a twist on the Vietnamese Bun Thit Nuong noodle dish.
Dressing 1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
1 red jalapeño chile, finely chopped
Salad 8 oz. dried rice-stick noodles
1 large carrot, cut into thin strips
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced leaf lettuce
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh mint leaves
1/2 English cucumber, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
1 cup bean sprouts
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1 large ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and thinly sliced
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1/2 cup roasted peanuts, crushed, optional
To make Dressing: Warm all ingredients in saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Cool.
To make Salad: Soak noodles in hot water 15 minutes. Drain, and set aside.
Cook carrot in pot of boiling water 30 seconds. Transfer to colander with slotted spoon, and rinse under cold water. Add noodles to water and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Transfer to colander with carrots, and rinse under cold water. Drain, and chill.
Toss noodle mixture with lettuce, basil, mint, and 1/2 cup Dressing. Divide among 4 bowls. Top with cucumber slices, bean sprouts, and green onion. Arrange mango slices on top, and drizzle with remaining Dressing. Sprinkle with cilantro and peanuts, if desired.
PER SERVING: 404 CAL; 9 G PROT; 0.5 G TOTAL FAT (0 G SAT. FAT); 93 G CARB; 0 MG CHOL; 538 MG SOD; 5 G FIBER; 40 G SUGARS
MANGO-TERIYAKI TOFU WITH BROWN JASMINE RICE Serves 4 - Vegan
If you can’t fi nd ripe mangoes, substitute thawed frozen mango chunks.
Tofu 1 1/4 cups brown jasmine rice
3/4 tsp. salt
1 14-oz. pkg. firm tofu, drained and cut into 12 slices
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions, divided
2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
To make Mango-Teriyaki Sauce: Purée mango and ginger in food processor until smooth. Strain 1/2 cup purée into saucepan; reserve remaining purée for another use. Whisk in mirin, soy sauce, sake, sugar, and 2 Tbs. water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
Combine rice, salt, and 2 cups water in saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook 25 minutes. Let stand, covered, 15 minutes.
Coat tofu slices with Mango-Teriyaki Sauce. Heat grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray. Grill tofu 3 minutes. Flip, and brush with more Mango-Teriyaki Sauce. Grill 2 minutes more.
Stir 1/3 cup green onions, sesame seeds, and sesame oil into rice. Mound rice onto plates. Arrange tofu atop rice. Drizzle with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with remaining green onions, and serve.
PER SERVING: 338 CAL; 13 G PROT; 8 G TOTAL FAT (0.5 G SAT. FAT); 53 G CARB; 0 MG CHOL; 891 MG SOD; 4 G FIBER; 13 G SUGARS
MANGO AND PINEAPPLE CRUMBLE Serves 6 - Vegan
A home-style dessert gets a tropical twist by baking spiced mangoes and pineapple beneath a crunchy crumble topping. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup plus 3 Tbs. packed light brown sugar, divided
1 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided
3/4 tsp. grated nutmeg, divided
1/4 tsp. ground allspice, divided
1/4 tsp. salt
5 Tbs. chilled vegan margarine, cut into pieces, divided
1/2 cup raw pecans, coarsely chopped
2 Tbs. unsweetened shredded coconut
3 mangoes, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1-inch cubes (2 1/2 cups)
1/2 pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch cubes (2 1/2 cups)
Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat 8-inch-square glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Combine fl our, oats, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, 1/8 tsp. allspice, and salt in medium bowl. Add 4 Tbs. margarine, and rub with fi ngertips until mixture forms coarse meal. Press together until mixture begins to form moist clumps. Stir in pecans and coconut.
Combine remaining 3 Tbs. brown sugar, 3/4 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, and 1/8 tsp. allspice in large bowl. Add mangoes and pineapple, and toss to coat. Transfer to prepared baking dish; dot top with remaining 1 Tbs. margarine. Sprinkle oat topping over mango mixture.
Bake 40 minutes, or until topping is golden brown and juices bubble. Cool 10 to 20 minutes. Serve warm.
PER SERVING: 354 CAL; 3 G PROT; 17.5 G TOTAL FAT (5.5 G SAT. FAT); 49 G CARB; 0 MG CHOL; 204 MG SOD; 4 G FIBER; 33 G SUGARS
Food writer and recipe developer Rochelle Palermo lives in Los Angeles, where she can fi nd mangoes in any supermarket at any time of year.