At this point in the winter, I'm more than ready to move on from roasted root vegetables, earthy stews and bakes to meals that pop with freshness and color. I find myself leaning on the sunnier ingredients at the grocery store, and fresh mango is high on the list.
In this lively and satisfying salad, the fruit does double duty, first as the base of a sweet-tart vinaigrette dressing, and second, in chunks, as a juicy element tossed with the other ingredients. Fresh fruit works best here, but you could also use frozen, thawed mango instead, if need be.
The dressing couldn't be easier to make: Just whir mango in a blender with olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper - and maybe a touch of honey, depending on the sweetness of the fruit - and voila! It's one of those dressings that's so good on its own you could eat it with a spoon. And because it goes well with any type of green salad, you might want to pick up a couple of mangos and make a double or triple batch while you're at it.
Here this stunner of a dressing is tossed with cool, crisp vegetables - romaine or Baby Gem lettuce, sliced cucumber and radishes - and served topped with roasted salmon rubbed with chili spices that ping alluringly against the flavors of the mango. (You could swap in any thick, steaklike fish you like.) Finely diced mango is sprinkled over the salad at the end, along with rings of sliced, fresh chile (if you like), and a shower of fresh cilantro.
The result is a satisfying meal that's juicy, fresh, spicy and bright - just the thing to shake us out of our winter routine.