Mango Mint Salad

I’m sharing another recipe from the dishes I served at my birthday party today! Remember the spread? The colorful crostini? Here is something equally simple that you can totally make ahead of time! Boom! Easy! My favorite.

 

Party Food | Land of Laurel

 

I’ve always just loved mangos. My mom always gave them to us during the summer when I was little. She’d cut them up into little “porcupines” as we called it and we’d use our teeth to scrape off chunks of the delicious fruit, the juices running down our chins until we were sticky messes. Don’t worry, this recipe isn’t anywhere near that messy.

 

My favorite way to cut mangos — for this recipe and just for eating in general– is to slice the mango on either side of the pit. You should end up with 3 pieces, each about one-third the size of the mango, the pit piece being the smallest. Take each side and slice a grid into the flesh of the fruit with your knife. Then use your fingers to push on the peel side of the piece of fruit until it’s “inside-out” and looks like a series of rectangular projections on a hillside (or a porcupine!). Then use your knife to slice off the projection fruit flesh.

 

This Mango Mint Salad is easy, peasy. It requires only three ingredients and can be whipped up in a few minutes. It’s a great use for slightly over-ripened mangos and can be stored in the fridge for a few days, then brought to room temperature, before serving. It’s great for a side dish at lunch or breakfast. It’s a great dish to bring to a barbecue on a hot summer day. With organic mangos at Berkeley Bowl selling at 10 for $5.00 in the summers, I’m guaranteed to make this dish another half dozen times this season alone!

 

Mango Mint Salad | Land of Laurel

 

MANGO MINT SALAD

Serves as a side dish for 4-8 people

Ingredients:

4 – Organic Mangos

3 – Organic Limes

15-20 – Medium-Sized Organic Mint Leaves (freshly plucked from the stem)

 

Instructions:

Cut the mangos into bite sized pieces no larger than three-quarters of an inch. Place into medium sized bowl. Juice the limes and add the liquid to the mangos. Slice the mint leaves into small pieces and stir into the mangos. Let rest for at least thirty minutes, stirring occasionally, before serving. The rest period allow the mango to absorb more of the lime juice.

 

Wasn’t that quick and easy? I promise it’s so delicious, you have to try! I made it the day of my party and then again this weekend to bring to a crab feed. It’s incredibly yummy. I even paired it with avocado toast for breakfast a couple days after my party.

 

Mango Mint Salad and Avocado Toast | Land of Laurel

 

Does anyone else have a fruit that just screams summer to them? That’s what mangos do for me! They’re so inspiring, I know as soon as they come to under $1/each in the grocery store, it’s time for sand, sunscreen, and some lazy, hazy days of summer!

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Easy Potato Leek Soup

Potato Leek soup always intimidated me. I think because Julia Child and Potato Leek Soup are connected in my mind, I always assumed the soup was an elaborate and difficult one like so many French recipes. I was so very, very wrong. This is the easiest soup ever! If you’re ever in need of a quick dinner that involves very little effort and prep, make this soup. It’s the kind of recipe that involves chopping a few things, throwing them in water, and then reading a book or doing your taxes for an hour while it cooks. This is one of my favorite types of recipes: the lazy ones. Others in this category?  My favorite breakfast dish: Steel Cut Oats. These are the perfect types of recipes to always keep in the back of your mind, things you can throw together at very little notice and still have time to shower before your friends arrive. They’re the basic white T-shirts of the cooking world!

 

Potato Leek Soup | Land of Laurel

 

A little while ago I was struck by the urge to make Potato Leek Soup. My Uncle Scott and Aunt Karolyn had made a big pot soon after Thanksgiving when some relatives and I visited them in Davis. I was impressed and intrigued. It’s been in the back of my mind ever since. So I picked up my copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and flipped to Julia’s Potato Leek Soup. What do you know, there on the page, something along the lines of: “Chop these things. Throw them in water. Go take a shower and read a chapter of your book.” Thanks, Julia! After glancing at the recipe for less than a minute. I grabbed my keys and hit up Berkeley Bowl.

 

After I gathered my ingredients, I didn’t even bother looking at the recipe again. The measurements for this type of recipe you can fudge any which way. Perfect! I threw some potatoes in my Staub pot. I threw some leeks in too. I poured water over everything. Then I turned to my spices and went a little crazy, because #YOLO. And recipes are boring unless you spice things up a little. Below you’ll find my tweaks to this classic dish.

 

Potato Leek Soup and Fred | Land of Laurel

 

POTATO LEEK SOUP

 

Ingredients

6 medium-sized organic russet potatoes

2 stalks of organic leeks

2 quarts water

1 teaspoon organic nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon organic paprika

1/4 cup chopped fresh organic sage

1 teaspoon pepper

3/4 teaspoon salt

 

Recipe

First wash, peel, and cut your potatoes into pieces no large than 1.5″. Then slice your leeks into rounds approximately 0.5″ thick. Place both vegetables into a 4-6 quart pot and add water (the liquid should cover the vegetables, but just barely). Add nutmeg, paprika, salt, and pepper and bring to a soft boil. Once the water bubbles, reduce heat to low and let cook until vegetables dissolve, about 40-60 mins, stirring occasionally. Use a spoon to help the vegetables integrate into the liquid. Chop your sage in the meantime and sprinkle into soup, saving some for garnish. Taste soup and add additional salt as needed. Serve immediately.

Perfect Porridge

Who out there eats the exact same thing for breakfast nearly every morning? Show of hands? I don’t know about you, but both of my hands are high in the sky. What do I eat? Only the yummiest, healthiest, delicious-ist porridge there was! Steel cut oatmeal.

 

Steel Cut Oats | Land of Laurel

 

Each morning, I wake up, put on the tea kettle, and bring a pot of milk to boil. Then I add my oats and let them cook while I get ready. When I’m completely ready to go, the oats are done! It’s fantastic timing really.

 

Why steel-cut oats as opposed to rolled oats? Well, I read somewhere that they were dramatically better for you and less processed. While this article confirms the latter, I’ve yet to see anything else supporting the former. In fact, this one states that they’re pretty much identical in nutritional and environmental impacts. Though steel-cut may have more fiber according to these guys. So really, who knows? What pretty much everyone can confirm though is that oatmeal is pretty dang good for you. So eat it. There.

 

I used to buy these steel-cut oats at Trader Joes before I started shopping in Berkeley Bowl’s bulk foods section where they are so much less expensive. Sometimes I will pick up the McCann’s tin at Trader Joes though, simply because I adore the can they come in. I’ve used several to house plants over the years. I’m a sucker for a pretty tin.

 

I stick to steel cut oats though because of their longer cook time. I know, sounds crazy, right? But really, it’s less time for me in the kitchen. How is that possible? Well when something needs to come to a boil, have grain added, and cook for a while longer and all of that happens in fifteen minutes? You have to be in the kitchen over the stove for that entire fifteen minutes. Right now, I wait for my milk to boil and then add my oats an leave. It’s a five minute process. Making my thirty-five oatmeal takes me less time than fifteen-minute oatmeal. Less time than frying a couple eggs. It sounds crazy, but it’s the truth. So before you judge steel cut oats on their long cook time, give it a try. It might just save you time.

 

I add chia seeds on top of mine for a little extra crunch and a banana for sweetness. That way I don’t add any sugar to my breakfast and get a little fruit too. If you do feel like you need a little honey in your life, a teaspoon will make this oatmeal completely delish.

 

Chia Seeds and Banana on Steel Cut Oats | Land of Laurel

 

Steel Cut Oats for One

 

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup Almond Milk

3 Tablespoons Steel Cut Oats

1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon

1/4 Teaspoon Cloves

Dash of salt

1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds

1/2 Banana

 

First put your milk in a small pot over medium-high heat on the stove. Add your dash of salt. When the milk first begins to steam and forms tiny bubbles along the edges of the pan, add the steel cut oats, cinnamon, and cloves. Stir together and turn heat down to a simmer. Stir occasionally. Let cook for approximately twenty-five minutes. Oatmeal and milk should combine into a porridge. Remove from heat and add chia seeds and banana. Eat!

 

Do you have oatmeal every morning for breakfast? Love it? Hate it?