The Vegan Ferret

Vegan Food, Restaurants, Experiences from a Newly Vegan Ferret Lover

Southwest Summer Salad with Spicy Mango Pico Dressing

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For the past few years, I’ve been simultaneously working full-time and completing my B.A. at night.  Last week, I took my final class and to celebrate my newfound free-time and the start of my new life, I decided to experiment with some of my favorite flavors and ingredients.  Thus was born the:

Southwest Summer Salad with Spicy Mango Pico Dressing

This flavorful dish is perfect for entertaining friends as it looks absolutely gorgeous with an array of bright colors and a variety of shapes.  It’s light, but satisfying, and can be done completely raw or with sautéed mushrooms on top to add some warmth and heartiness.


Southwest Summer Salad


What you need:

  • 1 bunch of Red Kale de-ribbed and chopped (de-ribbing is removing the leaves of the kale from the stem – red kale is sweeter than other kale, but the stem is very bitter and will make the dish inedible for most)
  • 1 cup Cilantro chopped
  • 1/2 Yellow Bell Pepper finely chopped
  • 1/2 Red Bell Pepper finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup Onions finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup Celery finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup Mango finely chopped
  • 1 Serrano or Jalapeno sliced sideways for garnish (see pic)
  • 1 Stripy Pepper – sliced sideways for garnish (see pic – If you can’t find one, I would use a yellow or red pepper)
  • 1 Red Cactus Pear aka Prickly Pear – sliced sideways for garnish (see pic)

Putting it Together:

  • Add Kale, Cilantro, Yellow and Red Bell Peppers, Onions, Celery, and Mango to large bowl.  Toss.
  • Top with Stripy Pepper and Serrano slices
  • Place Cactus Pear slices around the sides of the bowl (these are not particularly good to eat fresh – after presenting the dish, these can be taken away to be used for a jam, syrup, perhaps a margarita to stick with theme?)

That was easy!  Now for the pico dressing – also pretty easy 🙂

Spicy Mango Pico Dressing


What you need:

  • 1/2 cup Mango chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup Tomato chopped finely
  • 1/2 cup Onion chopped finely
  • 1/3 cup Celery chopped finely
  • 1 tbsp. Serrano chopped finely
  • 1/2 tbsp. Cilantro chopped finely
  • 1/2 Lime
  • Dash of Salt (to taste)

Putting it Together:

  • Mix Mango, Tomato, Onion, Celery, Serrano, and Cilantro in small bowl.
  • Squeeze Lime on top and mix.
  • Add dash of salt, taste, add more if necessary.

And you’re done!  The most time-consuming is chopping the vegetables.  Let me tell you an incredible secret, though.  If you’re short on time or feeling lazy, you can buy most of them pre-chopped.  Add sauteed mushrooms and homemade chips on top for an extra treat.  Enjoy!



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