With orange or yellow flesh, a fragrant sweet-tart flavor and a silky texture, mangoes are one of the most popular tropical fruits. Although grown in Florida for more than 100 years, most mangoes sold in the United States come from Mexico and South America.
Mangoes can be enjoyed when ripe and sweet or unripe ("green") and tart. Choose ripe mangoes that are plump, yield to gentle pressure and have a sweet scent at the stem; they will ripen further if kept at room temperature for a few days. Refrigerate ripe mangoes for up to 3 days. Purchase green mangoes that are very hard and use them before they ripen.
Ripe mangoes are great on their own or tossed with a bit of sugar, lime juice and a pinch of salt. They can be puréed into smoothies, diced and mixed with chiles, onion and cilantro for a zesty salsa, or simmered with vinegar, spices and sugar for a flavorful chutney. Crisp green mangoes can be shredded in salads, pickled or eaten out of hand with salt.
Mangoes go with:
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chicken, fish, pork
How to cut a mango: Peel the mango with a sharp vegetable peeler or knife. Stand fruit upright and cut both sides away from the large oblong pit in center. Dice or cut the flesh into thin slices.
Fish with mango relish
This relish is a light, refreshing complement to fish, and it works well with chicken, too. Use leftovers to make tropical tacos. Serve fish in corn tortillas with relish and sliced avocado.
1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted and diced medium
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced medium
3/4 cup fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
Juice from 1 lime
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
4 mahi-mahi fillets (6 ounces each), skin off, or other firm, flaky fish
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1. In a medium bowl, toss together mango, cucumber, basil, lime juice and olive oil. Season relish with salt and pepper.
2. Heat a cast-iron skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Using a paper towel, blot fish dry. Season both sides with salt and pepper. When pan is hot, add vegetable oil, then gently add fish, working in batches if necessary (do not overcrowd pan). Cook fish, undisturbed, until fillets release easily from pan, about 6 minutes. Flip and cook until opaque throughout, about 4 minutes to 6 minutes. Serve fish with relish.
Nutritional information per serving: 308 calories, 12 grams fat, 11 grams carbohydrates, 38 grams protein, 1 gram fiber and 35 percent of calories from fat.
Green mango salad
This salad is low in calories and fat but has loads of vibrant flavor. Pair it with your favorite protein.
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus more to taste
2 tablespoons fish sauce, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon sugar, plus more to taste
2 green mangoes, peeled, pitted and cut into thin strips
3 scallions, very thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped peanuts
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1. In a large bowl, whisk together lime juice, fish sauce and sugar until sugar dissolves. Add mangoes, scallions, cilantro and mint and toss to coat. Taste and adjust seasoning with additional lime juice, fish sauce and sugar as desired. Top with chopped peanuts and red-pepper flakes.
Nutritional information per serving: 109 calories, 3 grams fat, 22 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams protein, 3 grams fiber and 25 percent of calories from fat.
Upside-down mango tartlets
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed and cut into six 3-inch circles to fit jumbo muffin pan
1/2 cup light-brown sugar
2 tablespoons dark rum
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 ripe mangoes, peeled, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place puff pastry circles in refrigerator. In a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, rum and pinch of salt; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil 1 minute, then add butter and stir until completely melted. In a jumbo muffin pan, divide sugar mixture among the cups, about 4 teaspoons each. Divide mango among cups and top with pastry. Bake until pastry is golden brown, puffed and juices are bubbling, about 20 minutes to 25 minutes, rotating pan halfway through.
2. Let cool on a wire rack, about 15 minutes. Run a small knife around edges of pastries to loosen. Place a rimmed baking sheet over pan and quickly invert to release tartlets. Serve warm.
Nutritional information per tartlet: 194 calories, 8 grams fat, 30 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram protein, 1 gram fiber and 37 percent of calories from fat.