Chicago-based chef Rick Bayless' ninth cookbook, More Mexican Everyday: Simple, Seasonal, Celebratory, will be released at the end of the month. Bayless joins us to talk about the cookbook and to share a sweet and spicy salad recipe.
“Sturdy Greens” Salad with Mango and Habanero
Ensalada de Quelites con Mango y Habanero
Serves 4 as a small side salad
- 1/2 fresh habanero chile, stemmed (remove the seeds if you wish)
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- The zest (colored part only) of 1/2 orange
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup agave syrup or honey
- 1 small white or red onion, thinly sliced
- 4 cups sliced (about 1/2-inch is good) sturdy greens (such as kale, chard, or mustard greens—you’ll need to start with about a 1/2 pound of most greens, then pull off or cut out the stems/stalks before slicing)
- 2 cups (about 3 ounces) frisée leaves (if your frisée is in a head, cut out the core and tear the leaves into rough 1-inch pieces)
- 1 large ripe mango (I like the yellow-skin ataúlfo/honey Manila mangos best for flavor and texture), peeled, flesh cut from the pit and chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
- A couple tablespoons crumbled Mexican queso fresco or other fresh cheese such as feta or goat cheese
- A couple tablespoons pine nuts or slivered almonds, toasted lightly in a dry skillet over medium heat until golden and aromatic
In a small microwaveable dish, combine the habanero and garlic. Cover with water and microwave at 100 percent for 1 minute. Drain and transfer to a blender. Add the zest, juices, oil and agave or honey. Blend into a smooth dressing. Taste and season highly with salt, usually about a 1/2 teaspoon.
Scoop the onion into a small bowl and stir in a little of the dressing.
With all the greens in a large bowl, use your fingers to massage the kale, making it more tender by breaking up its fibers until it darkens a little, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the onions and frisée to the greens. Drizzle on about 3 tablespoons of the dressing (the leftover can be covered and refrigerated for another salad) and toss to coat the greens well. Taste and season with additional salt if you think it’s necessary.
Divide the salad between 4 serving plates and spoon over each about a tablespoon of mango (the mango you don’t use is yours to snack on). Sprinkle the salads with the cheese and nuts and it’s ready to serve.