Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mango Avocado Salad with Sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette

Pinterest is a wonderfully addictive past-time of mine.  It ranks right up there with Gilmore Girls marathons, Just Dancing and making awkward Song of Solomon references.

One of my favorite parts of Pinterest is finding new recipes!  Surprise, surprise, I know.  As I mentioned earlier this week, with spring here and summer quickly approaching, I've been craving more fresh produce, salads and lighter food in general.  The problem comes with me not being the biggest fan of salads.  Let me explain.  If I'm going to enjoy a salad it better be a freaking monster salad.  It better have toppings.  The dressing better be ridiculously awesome.  Iceberg lettuce is not allowed in my house.  Simple salads as a meal just doesn't cut it, folks.

Pinterest to the rescue, my friends!  After seeing a picture of this salad, I knew that I needed to try it... with a few changes, of course.  Someone just can't leave recipes alone!

This makes a wonderful salad for lunch!  It's big enough and plenty filling to be an entree, but if you'd prefer I'm sure it would be great with chicken or some seafood.

Mango Avocado Salad with Sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette
Adapted from The Cafe Sucre Farine

For Salad:

Servings: 1

2 Tbsp. sliced or slivered almonds
1 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
1/2 Tbsp. water
Cinnamon, to taste
Paprika, to taste

2-3 cups spring mix
1/2 large mango, diced
1/4 avocado, diced

Sprinkle brown sugar in a small skillet over medium heat.  As the brown sugar begins to warm and separate, add the water to help it dissolve.  As the sugar begins to boil, it will become darker, thicker and more syrup-y.  Be careful not to burn the sugar.  Add in the almonds and add cinnamon and paprika to your taste.  Remove from heat.  Toss the almonds to coat in the sugar syrup.  Let cool on wax paper.  

Meanwhile, toss together spring mix, mango and avocado.  Add almonds after cooled.

For Dressing:
Servings: About 14  | Serving Size: 2 Tbsp
1 1/2 Tbsp. poppy seeds
1 1/2 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
1/2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 Tbsp. dried onion
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 Cup high-quality balsamic vinegar
1/3 Cup canola oil
1/3 Cup olive oil
1/4 Cup sugar
1/4 cup water

Combine all ingredients in a pint sized glass jar and shake well to dissolve sugar.

The flavors in this salad combine together so wonderfully.  There's a beautiful balance between the sweet, bitter, tangy and salty elements in the salad.  The best part?  You can totally change this salad to suit your tastes or the produce that's in season.  I personally think strawberries, goat cheese, raspberries or pecans would also be super tasty!  Enjoy!


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