About a week ago, I threw together this spicy, tangy, sweet and crunchy salad with the goal of making a fresh summer salad that awakens different sensations of taste.
So I don’t forget this wonderful creation, I’m writing this post from the Frankfurt Airport in Germany.. Due to bad weather, my flight from D.C. to Charlotte was 30 minutes late, getting me into charlotte 11 minutes before takeoff. Along with a family of four (with 2 kids under the age of 5), I sprinted through the Charlotte airport to catch my flight to Rome, and arrived 4 minutes before takeoff, out of breath, to be told that the FAA had decided not to wait for the 5 passengers from D.C. Although we were there, they would/could not open the doors back up, and I silently watched my flight leave. I couldn’t help but feel bad for the airline employees as well as the young family, who yelled at the airline employees about this being the dream vacation they spent their savings on, while the two children cried uncontrollably. However, all of us got diverted to Frankfurt two hours later, and I received this 8 hour layover as a “gift”, and a test to my resolve to not fall asleep on an airport bench after two full days spent on trains, planes and in airports. Back to food…
The combination of hot pepper, fresh lime juice, mangoes, French green beans and ginger explode in your mouth. If you’re looking for an explosive salad to change up from the normal lettuce salads we all fall back on, this is it.
1 lb. Green Beans (the fresher the better; I used French Green Beans)
2 Champagne Mangoes (the little yellow ones)
½ Dried Cayenne Pepper
3 Minced Cloves of Fresh Garlic
1 Chunk of Minced Fresh Ginger (Peeling it with a spoon is much easier than with a peeler)
4 Tbsp. Sunflower Oil
Pinch of Salt
½ Cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/3 C. of Lime Juice
3 tsp of Dijon Mustard (Grey Poupon is what I used)
Pinch of Salt
Small bunch of minced cilantro
Handful of Crushed Cashews
Clean the beans and rinse off your mango.
Mince a fresh or dried chili/cayenne/any spicy pepper, but make sure not to touch your nose, lips or eyes!!
Mince your garlic and ginger and combine with your pepper and 4 tbsp. of Sunflower Oil. Then marinate the green beans in this mixture for 10 minutes, mixing around the beans in the oil to fully coat the beans with the spices.
Heat your pan to medium-high and add the beans and oil. Make sure the oil is sizzling but not smoking and cook for 3-5 minutes at the most.
You want the beans to retain some of their crunch.
While the beans are cooking, peel and slice your mangoes.
I like the Mangoes as they are, because they are so flavorful and sweet, but if you want to transform it a little more, you could try caramelizing them in butter or lightly sautéing them in olive oil.
Now I don’t believe I left out a step but if something seems out of place or missing, I’m gonna lay it on my lack of good sleep over the last 2 nights.
I hope you enjoy this as much as I did, and tweak it to make it better.
One positive from my unnecessary detour in Deutschland has been the opportunity to converse with all kinds of people from around the globe, including a nice family from Cuba living in Germany. By this time tomorrow, I should be in Gozo, sleeping in an overly warm room and looking out over Xlendi Bay from Barruf (Pronounced: Ba-Roof… “The Roof”).