Friday, July 16, 2004

Mango Salad

When I was 15 years old, I am embarrassed to say the only way I could go to David Bowie concert was in the company of my mother. 

It was my first major concert (not counting Air Supply at the Maitland show in 1978 and Red Gum at the Balmain Town Hall later that year) and I was desperate to see the Thin White Duke on his Serious Moonlight Tour.  The concert was held at the Sydney Cricket Ground, which is never the best place to see a band - you can get a great view up in the stands, only you're miles away from the stage.  Or you can rough it with the great unwashed down on the grounds, either working your way through the crowd to get squished behind the production tower, or perching yourself precariously on someone's shoulders.
I tried both, and eventually accepted that I should just stand alongside everybody else and crane my head, dancing occasionally, praying my mother wouldn't disgrace me by poking fun.  We found a relatively clear spot on which to stand.  Unfortunately, in front of us was a non-stop dancing lunatic whom we dubbed 'Mango' because of his surfer singlet with a Mango logo printed on the back.  At the beginning of every song, Mango would throw his hands in the air and proceed to undulate furiously like a snake standing on it's tail - until Mum's friend sternly told him to "sit down you idiot!".  Mango would cut it out for a while, but start all over again when the next song cranked up.
Every time I hear the word mango I think of that guy and that show.  It has nothing to do with this fantastic recipe for salad, but I had to share the story anyway. 
1 ripe mango
12 cherry tomatoes
1/3 telegraph cucumber
1/4 Spanish (red) onion
1/2 bunch fresh coriander
1 tblsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp sugar
Pinch of Salt
Pinch of fresh black pepper

1. Slice cherry tomatoes in half and place in salad bowl.

2. Peel Spanish onion, finely dice and add to tomatoes.

3. Cut cucumber in half and slice into thing crescents.  Add to bowl.

4. Peel mango and slice cheek from one side of the seed.  Thinly slice lengthwise then cut in half across the middle.  Add to other ingredients, making sure you pour any juice on the chopping board into the salad bowl as well.

5. Finely chop coriander leaves and add to bowl.

6. In a small plastic container with a lid, combine white wine vinegar, olive oil, sugar, salt and pepper.  Seal container with lid and shake until sugar has dissolved.  Pour over salad ingredients, then toss very gently - you don't want to mash your precious mango pieces.  Salad should be very wet.

7. Serve with anything you like - grilled chicken, naked fish, BBQd steak or fried tofu.  Serve 2-4 people.

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