Make Ahead

Mango Salad with Fennel Frond Pesto

May  8, 2012
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

Henry and I eat ungodly amounts of ataulfo mangos each week. Often, I'll cut most of the fleshy bits off the peeled mangos and puree them in the blender with some whole milk yogurt, milk, and agave nectar for a quick lassi while Henry gnaws on the pit. For this contest, I wanted to make a light and refreshing salad à la Lena S's Plum Avocado Summer Salad, featuring mangos and fennel. The two pair together really nicely, I think, and I was happy to be able to use all of the fennel fronds along with the bulb -- they're so lovely. And, bonus, the fennel frond pesto stays green for a surprisingly long time, so this is a great make-ahead or picnic salad. —arielleclementine

Test Kitchen Notes

What a lovely combination of ingredients for a salad. It's light and fresh, yet substantial enough to be served as a vegetarian meal or side dish with a piece of fish or chicken. I would 'up' the quantity of lemon slightly as I think the acid pairs nicely again the sweetness of the mango. If you only have a lime in the fridge, use it's a superb combination, as well! —Victoria Ross

  • Serves 4
  • 1 bulb fennel with fronds
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated on a microplane
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated on a microplane
  • Juice of one lemon (2-3 tablespoons)
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 large or 3 small ripe ataulfo or champagne mangos
  • Flaky sea salt
In This Recipe
  1. Make the Fennel Frond and Ginger Pesto: Shear the feathery fronds from the fennel bulb, leaving the thick stalks behind and chop the fronds roughly (you should have about 2 cups). Combine the chopped fronds, grated ginger, grated garlic, and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse a few times to incorporate. With the food processor running, pour in the 6 tablespoons of olive oil and process until combined. Scrape the mixture into a medium bowl and season to taste with kosher salt.
  2. Assemble the Salad: Trim the root and stalks from the fennel bulb and slice it thinly, cutting from root to stem. Peel the mangos and cut the flesh from the pit and slice into long, thin strips. Add the sliced fennel bulb and mango to the bowl with the pesto and toss gently to combine. Top with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt.
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I have always loved food. My favorite books as a kid always featured food (eg. The Berenstain Bears Get the Gimmies- so much candy!) and I loved cooking shows like Yan Can Cook and The Frugal Gourmet. I started cooking the Thanksgiving dinner for my family when I was 13 years old. I have food52 to thank for inspiring me to come up with my own recipes, as well as for introducing me to a community of fantastic cooks and their amazing recipes. I try my best to cook locally and seasonally, and I tend to prefer straightforward, simple recipes where the ingredients get to shine. I live in wonderful Austin, Texas with my husband, Andy (a video game programmer) and my son, Henry (an 8-month-old who loves to eat).