Mango Quinoa Salad

Menu Part: 
Cuisine Type: 

Chef Ehrline Karnaga
Valhalla Table
Costa Mesa, Calif.

Quinoa looks and acts like a grain, but it’s technically a grass—with no trace of gluten. Chef Ehrline Karnaga takes advantage of quinoa’s lineage by using it as a base for a hearty salad, much like one would use couscous or bulgur wheat. Mangos, avocados, cucumber, red bell pepper and tortilla strips are tossed with the cooked quinoa, and a zesty mango dressing ties together the ingredients into a light, refreshing dish.


Mango dressing
1 large, very ripe mango, peeled and pitted
4 oz. rice vinegar
2 oz. lemon juice
2 oz. orange juice
2 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. red pepper flakes, optional
2 tsp. salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
12 oz. canola oil

Quinoa salad
6 heads romaine lettuce
3 ripe mangos (about 18 oz. each), peeled and diced
3 ripe avocados, peeled and diced
3 cups cooked quinoa
1 1/2 cucumbers, peeled and diced
1 1/2 red bell peppers, diced
3 cups tortilla strips


1. Prepare mango dressing: Combine all ingredients except oil in food processor; puree until smooth. Slowly drizzle in oil to form an emulsion. Refrigerate for storage.

2. To assemble each salad, tear leaves from 1/2 head romaine lettuce into large bowl. Add 2 ounces diced mango, 2 ounces diced avocado, 1/2 cup cooked quinoa, 1 1/2 ounces cucumber and 1 1/2 ounces red bell pepper; toss gently to combine. Add about 2 ounces mango dressing; toss to combine.

3. Arrange a couple of lettuce leaves on plate; top with salad mixture and garnish with tortilla strips.

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