Serves 3 – 4
This is a lovely fresh salad to eat in the morning –similar to an Israeli salad, but with the addition of mangos and kumquats. It doesn’t quite know if it is a salad or a fruit salad, and goes equally well with a poached egg or a dollop of yogurt. And perhaps a few slices of cured salmon. I can see we are rapidly descending into the realms of brunch…
A handful of cherry tomatoes
A small red pepper
½ small red onion
2 – 3 kumquats
1 green chilli (optional)
A sprig of thyme
Salt and pepper
Finely dice the tomatoes, pepper, onion, and mango.
Thinly slice the kumquats and chilli.
Finely chop the thyme. If the stem is woody, strip off the leaves first.
Mix it all together adding a good pinch of salt and a few grindings of pepper.
Mint or basil would also work well in this salad. I chose thyme because a friend had given me a lovely terracotta potful for my birthday and it was sitting in my kitchen, unlike the mint, which was down three flights of stairs in our lovely communal garden.
I am a great fan of kumquats, but if you can’t get hold of any, dicing a lime or half a lemon is also a good option.
And a Word About Mangoes
My first experience of a mango was one brought back in the 60s from Peru by my mother in her suitcase. It was orangey-yellow and so juicy that we were given it to eat in the bath: it was absolutely delicious – sweet and perfumed; I had never tasted anything like it. She never went back to Peru, so that was the last I saw of a mango for a very long time.
Eventually, they appeared in British supermarkets, but for reasons best known to themselves, theyalmost exclusively sell a variety of mango that is mostly green, and very often hard and sour. However, if you have access to a really good street market – in particular one serving an Asian or African community – you can find the same juicy, sweet yellow mangoes that I remember. I am lucky enough to live near East Street market in South East London, where not only are the mangos fabulous, but they are often incredibly cheap. It is out of gratitude to have such a delight so near at hand that I have named this salad after it.