A Grilled Mango Spinach Salad with Cranberries is exactly what I need. We had already more than a month of very hot humid weather here in Georgia, somewhere between 93 and 96 degrees It reminds me so much of the Caribbean and so does this salad.
I met my husband on Jamaica; beautiful Jamaica. I was on a business trip and he was living and working in Jamaica at that time. This bounty island has a special place in my heart. A year into our long distance relationship, I was transferred to one of the Dutch Caribbean island, Curacao. We were closer to each other, but still a sea apart. We were flying back and forth between the 2 islands, ‘sponsoring’ the local airlines ……. fond memories.
When I think about Jamaica, I always think about the lovely people I met. The beautiful Blue Mountains with the lush greenery and the hot and humid climate. Flower and fruits grow all over Jamaica; I think almost everything can grow in Jamaica’s fertile ground and mango trees are everywhere.
This salad is a combination of warm and cold and very colorful. I usually prefer a salad with a warm-cold combination; I just it. I like to call it a lukewarm salad. It adds to the variety. In this case we have green, orange, and red color. We have crispy pancetta, soft mango, crunchy spinach and chewy dried cranberries; and we have cold spinach, dressing, and warm mangos.
A few notes: I used sliced pancetta as apposed to cubes pancetta. The sliced version is super thin and a better match with the delicate mango and spinach. For the dressing I used Verjus, but of course you can also use vinegar, lime or lemon. Verjus is made from unripe grapes, but there is no alcohol because the grapes did not ferment. There is a sweet tendency to the product, kind of like a very mild vinegar. In most dressings I use the verjus, unless I make a salad with very bold flavors.
Grilled Mango Spinach Salad with Cranberries
- 2 whole mangos
- 3 ounces pancetta sliced
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- 6 cups baby spinach
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon verjus blanc
- salt and pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon ginger paste
- Peel the mango’s, slice in half, cut around the pit and cut the meat into cubes.
- Wash the baby spinach.
- Cut the sliced pancetta in small pieces and bake them crispy. When done, transfer to a plate with a paper towel that will soak up the fat. Allow to cool.
- Heat a tablespoon of oil in a grill pan on high heat and grill the mango’s. Don’t bake them too long as they will become too soft and mushy.
- Grilling them on high heat will give them just a few grilling marks.
- Remove from the grilling pan and allow to cool until just warm, about 10-15 minutes.
- Make a dressing by mixing oil, verjus blanc, salt, pepper and ginger past to make a dressing.
- Combine warm mango’s, spinach, pancetta, cranberreis with the dressing and toss gently to coat.
- Divide over 4 salad plates.