I don’t usually have chips in the house – I find it’s a good way to keep myself from eating them. But occasionally we have guests, or are guests, and I inadvertently find myself camped out near the snack table. I’m a sucker for crudité platters, particularly the carrots, cucumber, and olives, and especially if the dressing is hummus or a mixture of homemade ranch and blue cheese. But my great love on the snack table is guacamole.
Guacamole is not, for me, a dip for my chip – the chip is a vehicle to transport the most obscene scoop of guacamole I can manage. I still wind up eating way too many chips, and since much of my family is the same way with guacamole, the entire bowl usually disappears within 5-10 minutes.
When I saw this recipe on Barefoot Contessa, it was too good to pass up. I tried it her way, and it’s good, but the avocado looked a little sparse, drowning in the other elements. I was immediately inclined to double the avocado – make it more guacamole-like. The salad was a huge hit. Some ate it like salad, while others ate it like a chunky dip, but everyone raved.
This became my default contribution at house parties. Then one day, someone mentioned it would be lovely with mangoes… and I’ve made it with mangoes ever since. They provide a brightness that accompanies the avocado beautifully.
Sadly, this doesn’t keep that well for too long. You can certainly eat it the next day or so, but the avocados are going to lose their color and will instead be a drab brownish green. So eat up!
Guacamole Salad with Mango
Inspired by Ina Garten’s Guacamole Salad
Allowing the red onion, jalapeño, and minced garlic to sit in the lime juice a few minutes allows them to soften a little in texture and flavor, and impart their flavor to the dressing. If you prefer them to have a strong bite, just mix everything together at once. But definitely keep your avos whole until right before serving, else the salad may start browning by the time your guests see it.
- 2 limes, zested and juiced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- ½ cup small diced red onion
- 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded & minced
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 yellow or orange bell pepper, seeded and ½-inch diced
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 mangoes, peeled and diced
- ¼ cup good olive oil
- 4-5 ripe Hass avocados, seeded, peeled, and ½-inch diced
- Whisk together the lime zest, lime juice, salt, pepper, and cayenne.
- Mix red onion, jalapeño, and minced garlic into the lime-spice mixture and let marinade at least 5-10 minutes.
- Add grape tomatoes, bell pepper, black beans and mango and pour olive oil over top, and mix vegetables to incorporate well.
- When ready to serve, dice and add avocado, mix gently, and season with salt to taste.
This makes an excellent side for carnitas, all Mexican food, and just about anything grilled (oh, it’s glorious over grilled fish), and doubles as a chunky dip.