Quinoa and Mango Salad with Lemony-Ginger Dressing

By • May 10, 2012 • 33 Comments

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Author Notes: This salad has its roots in a salsa. Trader Joe's used to carry a mango-black bean salsa that I thought was the best on the planet; I used to eat it right from the jar. They stopped making it for a while, and that's when I began improvising and making it myself. At one point it hit me: Can't I make this a meal? So here we are. I've added other things I can't do without, like onions and avocado. You can certainly omit roasting the onions, but try it at least once with them roasted – the flavor really adds to this dish. The sweetness of the onions and mango plays well with the dressing.

In the summer I switch it up a little and grill the components (onion, mango and avocado), and sometimes add grilled corn.

I'm not a huge fan of heat in my dishes, so I don't call for any here, but spicy-fans may want to throw in a little minced jalapeno or chile pepper.
jenniebgood

Food52 Review: Love at first bite! jennybgood layers her flavors and textures in such a way that each bite of her salad is a bit different, and all are exquisite. I love that she gives the cook a choice of different quinoas to use (I had red and white, so I blended them), as well as different greens (I used a mixture of mesclun and red cabbage). The black beans and mangoes are heavenly together, and his suggestion to squeeze the mango pits to extract their juice is sheer genius. The combination of sweet mango with her lemony-ginger dressing is divine. The crisp, deeply-flavored onions and the creamy, tender avocado wrap everything together like the gift that this salad is.boulangere

Serves serves 4-6 as a main course, 6-8 as a starter

Quinoa and Mango Salad

  • 1 cup regular, red or black quinoa, rinsed well in a strainer
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 mangoes
  • 1 large red onion, halved stem to root and slivered
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups micro greens (I used a rainbow blend package from Whole Foods herb section: mizuna, curly cress, red and yellow beet, arugula, cabbage) – if not available, mesclun, spring or baby greens are fine, rinsed and dried
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1-2 avocados, halved, pitted and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Lemony-Ginger Dressing

  • 3-4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger (or 1 tsp ground ginger)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cook the quinoa: In a saucepan, bring quinoa and water to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until most or all of the water is absorbed, about 12-15 minutes. The little "tails" should pop free from the grain and it should still be pretty chewy. If any liquid remains, strain the quinoa. I usually add it to a strainer either way and rinse it under cold water to stop the cooking process, then continue to fluff it every so often as I'm preparing the other ingredients.
  3. Toss onion slivers with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for about 30 minutes. Resist stirring until they begin to brown, then stir occasionally; not too much or they will not brown as nicely. Remove when they are soft and nicely colored. Let cool.
  4. Pit and dice mangoes. Try to squeeze out some of the juices from the fibrous part surrounding the pit before discarding it – there's often a lot of juice in that section. Add it to the diced mangoes
  5. Make the dressing: Whisk the olive oil into the lemon juice. Whisk in the ginger and add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Assemble the salad: Mix the quinoa, mango (and juices), black beans, and cilantro together. Spread the micro greens on a large plate and layer the quinoa mixture over the greens. Top with the roasted onions and the avocado slices. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve.
Jump to Comments (33)

Comments (33) Questions (1)

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4 months ago Kaede Sullivan

We made this recently and we thought it was lovely. We couldn't find good mangoes and substituted nectarines. It was perfect and when assembled,it looked beautiful!

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8 months ago Towles

This was so delicious. I served roasted salmon on the side and there were no leftovers! Yum!

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8 months ago jenniebgood

Love the idea of salmon as well -thanks Towles!

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12 months ago Kelly Dennison

Made this for dinner last night. Fantastic! Love the bold flavors and colors. Makes a beautiful plate and tastes so wholesome! Definitely making this again. Thanks for the recipe!

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8 months ago jenniebgood

Thanks so much Kelly - glad you liked it!

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over 1 year ago Kay McMains

Just learned of greatness of mango...loved it, and am very anxious to prepare this!!

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8 months ago jenniebgood

Thanks Kay - let me know if you like it - Jenn

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over 1 year ago Vstarr71

Yum! Had this as a light dinner last night! Topped it with a few large shrimp! Perfect summer dinner! Thank you:))

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over 1 year ago Aura

With shrimp..... That's a good idea. Will try it next.

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8 months ago jenniebgood

Vstarr71 and Aura - I love the idea of shrimp - it sounds perfect for a summer meal!

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over 1 year ago SuzanneRobin

So delicious! Given the 90+ degree heat in NYC this week, I decided to add a few tablespoons of finely diced raw red onion to spare my apartment the heat of my oven! So summery, healthy, and yummy!

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over 1 year ago jenniebgood

Thank you SuzanneRobin - I'm so glad you liked it!

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over 1 year ago devorah13

what is the oven for? I read the recipe a few times and dont see
any reason for it?

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over 1 year ago ZingersMom

You use the oven to roast the onion slivers.

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over 1 year ago jenniebgood

Thank you Dina Moore-Tzouris and JanetFL for catching my error- I just edited the recipe to include instructions for cooking the quinoa

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over 1 year ago JanetFL

You're welcome - looking forward to trying your recipe!

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over 1 year ago jenniebgood

Thank you James for your photo! It does the recipe way better justice than mine!

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over 1 year ago culture_connoisseur

What a great salad! Perfect for this summer heart. Making this tonight without the black beans, but adding raw ahi tossed in the dressing.

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over 1 year ago mildred

oven 400 degrees?????

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over 1 year ago jenniebgood

Yes - 400 degrees. I like my onions browned nicely. Oven temperatures can vary, so if this seems too hot for your oven, please feel free to adjust the temp. as necessary.

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over 1 year ago Dina Moore-Tzouris

do you cook the quinoa?
I'm assuming that's what the water is for?

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over 1 year ago JanetFL

Hopefully the author will see this but in the meantime...The basic way to cook 1 cup quinoa is in 2 cups water. Place quinoa and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook until water is absorbed (about 15 minutes). Sounds like a great recipe!

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over 1 year ago jenniebgood

Thank you Janet! I saw this mistake so long ago and thought I had edited the recipe to correct this - my apologies! Trying again....

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over 2 years ago Oops! Were you gonna eat that?

Hi Jenniebgood - I just wanted to congratulate you on your community pick and thank you for your very thoughtful testing comments!

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over 2 years ago krusher

What sized can of black beans and in brine or salted? One of the frustrations of living down under is that our seasons are the opposite of yours. No mangoes in town naturally as we head into winter and none have been flown in from Asia (thankfully for all sort of ideological reasons). Adaptation being the name of the game I am opting for pears instead. Should be fine. I'll let you know how it goes.

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over 2 years ago jenniebgood

Thanks for your note below - Please let me know how it turns out for you!
I use a standard size can of black beans, which here in the US is usually between 15-16 ounces I believe. I use the 365/Whole Foods brand - I don't think they offer an option between salted/unsalted. I like foods with the least amount of processing/additives so I would say if you have the option, go with unsalted/unbrined. I hope you enjoy the salad!

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over 2 years ago krusher

After reading boulangere's blog entry about your recipe, I am making this wonderful salad tonight for dinner to share with my darling daughter who plans to drop in with the Downton Abbey Christmas special DVD that hasn't been shown in Australia on TV yet. Perfect food in a wide round bowl.

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over 2 years ago jenniebgood

Hope you enjoy it krusher. Please let me know how it turns out!

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over 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

This was so incredibly great, jenniebgood, that I wrote a blog post about it: http://wp.me/27pPl

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over 2 years ago jenniebgood

Oh my gosh boulangere I'm so thrilled and touched - thank you! I have to admit I was a little intimidated when I saw one of the most prolific contributors to this site (and a 3-time finalist!) was testing my recipe! I play around with it a lot and I was keeping my fingers crossed it was one of the better versions. I'm honored that you featured it on your website. I love your version of making it more of a composed salad. It's so pretty with the red cabbage! Thank you again!

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over 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Congratulations on earning a CP. Most well-deserved for this fantastic salad!

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over 2 years ago jenniebgood

Congratulations Boulangere on making it to the finals!! And thank you so much for offering to test this one. Please do let me know how you like it!

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over 2 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I love your description of the TJ's salsa. I would have eaten it straight from the jar, too. I'm thrilled I was able to claim this for a CP test!