Mangoes are not the cheapest things to buy, nor is their comrade the avocado. But once in a while, a tasty tropical treat is a necessity for me. In one of the many places that I love, Sri Lanka, the avocados grow in abundance. Early in the morning, I would wake up, grab my friend and stand ready under the avo tree. After a gentle shake, dozens of these emerald green fruits would come tumbling to the ground. Sitting in my kitchen back in London with the holiday blues, I devised this recipe as a way of transporting me back to the exotic, calming world that is Sri Lanka’s southern coast. I found the pea shoots in the supermarket near me—they are little baby leaves, very cute and tasty. If you can’t find them, wild arugula is fine to use instead.
Equipment: Large serving platter
Two 9-oz packages of prepared mango cubes (or 2 large ripe mangoes)
7 oz feta cheese
1 ripe avocado
Small handful of fresh basil
1 bag of pea shoots (or wild arugula)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A drizzle of a really good extra virgin olive oil
Put the mango onto a large serving platter. (I do love some prepared mango at times!) Or if using whole mangoes, slice the two cheeks off either side of the pit. Cut them in half and then run the knife through the flesh close to the skin to peel it, as you would with a melon. Dice the flesh into bite-size pieces and scatter onto the big serving platter. I like to go back and slice off the remaining skinny bits of mango and do the same thing with them so as not to waste any.
Crumble the feta cheese over. Trim the radishes and then slice them as fine as you can before scattering them over also.
Cut the avocado in half and discard the pit. I put the blade of a knife into it and then give it a twist—the pit usually comes out beautifully. Then carefully peel away the skin and slice or dice up the avocado and add to the salad.
Tear the basil leaves from the stalks and scatter the leaves over with the pea shoots (or arugula). Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with oil and finish by squeezing the lime juice over.
From Everyday Easy by Lorraine Pascale. Text copyright 2012 by Lorraine Pascale. Photographs copyright 2012 by Myles New. Excerpted by permission of Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
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