I love salads! Fruit salad, vegetable salad, grain salad – or a combination – the colors, the textures, the flavors….the possibilities are endless. Whether inspired by a display of local, in-season produce in the grocery store or leftover veggies in the refrigerator, tossed with a homemade dressing, topped with a special garnish….salads appeal to my creative side as a chef. The ingredients for this salad can all be combined in a bowl as a tossed salad, of course, but assembling them as a stacked salad makes a stunning first course for a dinner party and sets the stage for an elegant evening of gourmet dining.
Double Mango Stacked Fruit Salad
an original recipe created by Chef Barb Crispin, A Gift of Thyme personal chef service
1 cup mango, ripe, peeled and cubed
1 pear, chopped
1/2 cup chopped strawberries + 2 whole strawberries for garnish (optional)
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
1/4 teaspoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon salt
agave nectar to taste (honey or other sweetener may be substituted if preferred)
3 cups salad greens, chopped
1/4 cup fresh herbs, chopped (I used mint + a sprinkling of fennel fronds)
3″ salad ring or biscuit cutter
Place 3/4 of the mango in a food processor; process until finely chopped. Add lime juice, oil, coriander, and salt. Process until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
Combine remaining mango and chopped strawberries with 1 tablespoon of the pureed mango. Set aside. This will be the middle layer of your salad.
Toss 1/2 cup chopped greens with the fresh chopped herbs. Set aside. This is the top layer of the salad.
Combine the remaining salad greens with the chopped pears and 1/2 – 1 tablespoon pureed mango. This is the base of the salad.
Place the salad ring in the center of the salad plate. Using the salad ring as a mold, fill it about half-way with the greens/pear mixture. The weight of the mango-strawberry layer will compress it. Add enough of the mango-strawberry mixture so that 2/3 – 3/4 of the ring is filled. Top with the layer of greens and herbs. The top of this layer can be slightly above the top edge of the ring. Carefully slide the ring upwards. Repeat for the second salad. Garnish the plates with strawberry fans if desired.
You will have extra pureed mango. It keeps well in the refrigerator (or can be frozen) and can be used on other salads, as a topping for ice cream, as a dip for fresh fruit, mixed with yogurt…