The average cook has about 15-20 recipes they recycle. I refuse to be part of the crowd. So, I’ve started to explore cuisine from other countries. Los Angeles, like New York, is a hotbed of culinary diversity. Not far away from my area (which, by the way is called Little Persia-I’ll write about that another time) is an area called Little Ethiopia. I’m assuming that any area that isn’t the entire country is considered ‘Little.’
Ethiopian restaurants are really fun. The only one I had been to was years ago when I lived on the Upper West Side in NYC. The one here was very similar. The décor was dark and exotic, we sat in chairs that looked and felt suspiciously like carved out tree trunks and instead of silverware, you got to eat with your hands, using their wonderful flatbread to scoop out the stews. Ethiopian food is a fabulous mix of sweet and spicy, with lots of stews and interesting food and spice combinations
I had an amazing salad there and this is a version of it. I love spicy food, but the original was so hot I could barely chew it, no less swallow! There were a few mangos in my fridge and I made a few changes from the original salad recipe so it’s less hot and has the sweetness from the fruit that marries well with the fiery jalapeno and bite of the red onion. The basic recipe is vegetarian, but I like protein in my meals, so the second time I made it, I added a pound of raw shrimp to the tomatoes while they were cooking and it was absolutely delicious! I eat this with no flatbread, but feel free to use some. It’s pretty fun to NOT use utensils!
An Exotic Salad with Cucumber and Mango!
- 5 Persian cucumbers, sliced thin (about 2 cups)
- 1 medium red onion, chopped small
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- Olive Oil Spray
- 2C chopped Roma tomatoes or grape tomatoes, cut in quarters
- 3 tbsps chopped unsalted, dry roasted peanuts
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
- ¼ tsp coriander powder
- ½ tsp cumin powder
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- Dash of cinnamon
- Dash of ground cloves
- 1 large mango, ripe-peeled and chopped small
- 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
- Juice of 1 lime
- Combine the cucumbers, onion, salt and garlic in a bowl. Let sit for 15 minutes or so.
- Spray large skillet with oil and heat over med-high flame. Add tomatoes, peanuts, jalapeno, coriander, cumin, red pepper, cinnamon and cloves. (and shrimp, if desired!).
- Sauté for about 5 minutes until tomato “melts” down and optional shrimp are no longer translucent.
- Remove from heat and let cool for 15 minutes.
- Mix together cucumber portion with tomato mixture in a large bowl and stir. Add mango, cilantro and lime juice. Toss gently.
- Serve or cool in refrigerator for 1 hour.
1 thought on “An Exotic Salad with Cucumber and Mango!”
Sounds great…putting that on my “to-do” list!
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