Mango Quinoa Salad
Quinoa looks and acts like a grain but it’s technically a grass—with no trace of gluten. Chef Ehrline Karnaga, of Valhalla Table in Costa Mesa, Calif., 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; a zesty mango dressing ties together the ingredients into a refreshing whole.
Fresh 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
6 heads Romaine lettuce
3 fresh ripe mangos (about 18 oz. each), peeled and diced
3 fresh ripe avocados, peeled and diced
3 cups cooked quinoa
1½ cucumbers, peeled and diced
1½ red bell peppers, diced
3 cups tortilla strips
1. Prepare Fresh 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 ½ head Romaine lettuce into large bowl. Add 2 oz. diced mango, 2 oz. diced avocado, ¼ cup cooked quinoa, 1½ oz. cucumber and 1½ oz. red bell pepper; toss gently to combine. Add about 2 oz. mango dressing; toss to combine.
3. Arrange a couple of lettuce leaves on plate; top with salad mixture and garnish with tortilla strips.
Recipe by Ehrline Karnaga, Valhalla Table, Costa Mesa, Calif.
Photo and recipe courtesy of National Mango Board