Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Chicken, Artichoke, and Hungarian Hot Salad
 over romaine and mango

chicken, mango, and romaine salad with artichoke pepper vinaigrette

You can vary this recipe a lot of ways, right? Right now there's nothing easier than rotisserie chicken, though I might sub in hearts of palm for artichokes now and again; fresh, raw vegetables in vinaigrette are also good, just a little more fuss. I'm pretty much decided on eating as much mango as I can until I'm sick of mango, and then I will have strawberries or blackberries or peaches or plums. It might be nice to have other salad greens for variety, but romaine keeps the best. Though I did see baby kale in the produce section, that might hold up better than baby spinach.

I'm less hungry for some reason on days that I'm home, and often just put the chicken and artichoke pepper vinaigrette over the mango.

a heart of romaine
a mango
a jar of chicken and artichoke pepper vinaigrette

I eat a whole heart of romaine at a time, so I don't mind being a princess about discarding any less than perfect leaves. Then chop the romaine on your disposable cutting board also known as a paper towel, and put it in a bowl.

Now cut and peel the mango. Here is the thing about a mango: a mango is a flat, hairy pit jealously clinging to tender sweet fruit. This is my advice: don't fight with the pit, let the pit keep some fruit. Get what the pit is willing to give up, and be happy with that. If you fight with the pit, the fruit gets mangled and ruined. Or if you get angry about not getting every last bit of fruit, you're not enjoying what fruit you do get. This also applies to people, and to life! Okay but in practical terms, envision where the pit is and cut as close as you can across the face of the pit. Turn it around and cut closely across the opposite face. Then lay it down flat and cut four angled pieces from around the sides of the pit—if you cut into the pit, back off and make a shallower cut. Then cut away the pieces of fruit from the peel, and pile them on top of the lettuce.

Then you empty your jar of chicken and artichoke pepper vinaigrette over your salad.

Then you wrap up the scraps of romaine and mango in the paper towel and toss. All you have to wash is your knife and the jar, and your bowl and fork. And water glass, because you'll get yourself a glass of water to drink with your salad.