By Angela Denstad Stigeler
What would summer be without its sauces? Barbecue sauce, a hot dog with relish, a burger with ketchup, chips and salsa—these are the flavors of summer. Now that the summer season has unofficially begun, it’s time to play with some flavors and get a little saucy—whether you go for compote, relish, salsa or chutney. Many of these fresh concoctions are as carefree as the season; few require careful measuring and many don’t even require cooking.
The following mango medley is a great way to whet your appetite for summery fare, taking advantage of the peak season for this fruit. Look for smooth-skinned mangoes that yield slightly to the touch. Color doesn’t indicate ripeness, so don’t shy away from green-skinned mangoes. Serve this sauce with blue corn tortillas, or spoon it over grilled chicken. The spicy, sweet and cool flavors will have you in the mood to welcome summer, with relish!
Cucumber Mango Salsa
1 large or 2 medium-sized mangos, peeled, seeded, and diced*
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 small bunch green onions, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
juice from one lime
salt and pepper to taste
In a large mixing bowl lightly stir together the mango, cucumber, jalapeno pepper, onion, garlic, and cilantro. Season with lime juice, salt and pepper. Toss lightly to coat.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving to allow the flavors to blend.
* To quickly dice a mango slice off the two flat sides, avoiding the large, flat oval pit. Cupping the fruit in your hand, use a paring knife to cut the fruit into small cubes down to, but not through, the skin. Use your thumbs to press the skin inside out and cut off the mango cubes in one or two layers. Scoop out any remaining flesh with a spoon.