← Back to Search Results
Latin American, Mexican
Avocado-Mango Salad with Fresh (or Blue) Cheese, Bacon, and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Photo by: Christopher Hirsheimer
Comments: 0
 

Recipe

From the Mexican perspective, both buttery avocado and tropical mango derive beautiful benefits from chile, salt and lime, all three of which form a foundation for this salad’s dressing, along with sautéed garlic’s savory aroma and honey’s mellowness. Add the crunch of toasted pumpkin seeds, the tenderness of Boston lettuce and the savory saltiness of crisp bacon and fresh Mexican cheese, and you have a compelling dish. It’s the least substantial of my main-course salads – perfect for hot-weather appetites. Also, feel free to scale down the size of the portions so you can use the delicia as the first course for a special dinner. Or serve the large portions with grilled chicken breasts for a more robust meal.

Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 slices bacon
  • ½ cup hulled untoasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil or olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • Fresh hot green chile or taste (I like a large Serrano or a small jalapeno), stemmed (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Salt
  • 1 large head Boston/butterhead lettuce (or an equivalent amount of Bibb lettuce), leaves separated
  • 2 large ripe avocados
  • 2 ripe mangoes
  • A generous ¾ cup coarsely crumbled Mexican queso fresco or mild blue cheese (Gorgonzola is great)

Directions

Arrange the bacon slices between a double layer of paper towels on a microwaveable plate. Microwave on high (100%) for 2 ½ to 3 ½ minutes, until crispy.

Pour the pumpkin seeds into a small skillet and set over medium heat. Once the first one pops, stir constantly until all have popped from flat to round, about 5 minutes. Scoop about one-third of the seeds into a blender jar and add the lime juice. Pour the remainder into a small dish.

Return the skilled to medium heat and measure in the oil. Add the garlic and optional chile. Cook, stirring regularly, until the garlic is soft and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Scrape the oil, garlic, and optional chile into the blender. Add the honey and ½ teaspoon salt. Process until smooth. Taste and season with more salt if you think necessary. (It should be highly seasoned.)

Divide the lettuce among four dinner plates. Pit the avocados, scoop the flesh from the skin and cut it into slices. Peel the mangoes, then cut the flesh from the pits. Slice to match the avocado pieces. Arrange the avocados and mangoes in the center of the lettuce. Drizzle the dressing over everything, then sprinkle with the cheese and the reserved toasted pumpkin seeds. Crumble the bacon and strew it over the top, and the salad is ready.

Notes

A Few Simple Riffs:

The bacon can be replaced with flaked hot-smoked salmon, eel, trout or other smoked fish. To make the salad vegetarian, leave our the bacon or replace it with pan-grilled onion slices. The pumpkin seeds can be replaced with pine nuts (they toast – and burn – much faster than pumpkin seeds). The luscious texture of mango works well with avocado, but so would ripe peaches or nectarines. The green chile could be replaced by ground hot red chile (like arbol) – sprinkle it over the salad rather than blending it with the dressing. Crumbled goat cheese is another good stand-in for the queso fresco.

Over-the-Top Crab-Avocado-Mango Salad:

Sprinkle a generous portion of crabmeat over the avocado and mango before drizzling with the dressing.


© 2009 Rick Bayless
 

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

Nutritional information is based on 1/8 teaspoon added salt per serving.

650kcal (33%)
744mg (31%)
37g
10g
54g (83%)
0g
11g (56%)
30g
9g
35mg (12%)
22g
13g
135mg
951mg
153mcg RAE (5%)
49mg (81%)
190mg (19%)
3mg (15%)
 

Would you like to leave a comment about this recipe?

Notify me of new comments on this recipe. Add comment

We'd love to hear what you think!

Please or to add a comment to this recipe.
 

Sign up for
The Cookstr Weekly

Free handpicked cookbook recipes delivered straight to your inbox

Explore Cookbooks on Cookstr

lidias-italy Lidia's Italy
by Lidia Bastianich
the-bread-bible The Bread Bible
by Rose Levy Beranbaum
desserts-4-today Desserts 4 Today
by Abby Dodge
usa-cookbook U.S.A. Cookbook
by Sheila Lukins
the-mozza-cookbook The Mozza Cookbook
by Nancy Silverton
the-vegetable-dishes-i-cant-live-without The Vegetable Dishes I Can'...
by Mollie Katzen, Greg Atkinson
rice Rice
by Bonnie Tandy Leblang, Joanne Lamb Hayes
fresh-from-the-farmers-market-year-round-recipes-for-the-pick-of-the-crop Fresh from the Farmers' Mar...
by Janet Fletcher
nigella-express Nigella Express
by Nigella Lawson
urban-italian-simple-recipes-and-true-stories-from-a-life-in-food Urban Italian: Simple Recip...
by Andrew Carmellini
parents-need-to-eat-too Parents Need to Eat Too
by Debbie Koenig
everyday-chinese-cooking Everyday Chinese Cooking
by Katie Chin, Leeann Chin
Already a member? Sign in here
Close_overlay

Sign up to Cookstr!

  • Receive a free, handpicked selection of recipes in your inbox weekly
  • Save, share and comment on your favorite recipes in My Cookstr
  • Get updates on new cookbooks, Cookstr features, and other exclusives we know you'll love
Spinner
By signing up you accept the
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
New to Cookstr? Sign up here
Close_overlay

Sign in to Cookstr

Keep me logged in
close
Thanks for commenting!
Would you like to share your comment on Facebook or Twitter?