Sunday, November 27, 2005

Toasted Pandesal with Mango Summer Salsa


Summer isn't summer without mangoes. This simple recipe uses the fruit at its seasonal peak and when it is at its best: ripe, plump, and fragrant. One sweltering April at Alingal, I chanced upon a basket of ripe mangoes from Pampanga. And taking what's available in the refrigerator, I found this simple recipe favorable especially to Bicolanos who prefer chili even when it's hot. The mango provides the refreshing contrast to the subtle fire of red chillies and bell peppers.

Mango Summer Salsa
3-4 ripe mangoes, peeled, pitted and diced
1 finely diced small red bell pepper, seeds and membranes removed
1 small red chili pepper (siling labuyo), thinly sliced
1 calamansi or lemon
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro or basil

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Let stand, covered at room temperature for an hour to allow the flavors to mix. If not to be used immediately, store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Makes 2 cups.

Serve with any of the following (see what's in the refrigerator):

cooked/baked/grilled chicken meat
slice of smoked salmon, tinapa or sardines in olive oil
slice of ham, bacon, or any cold cuts
fillet of fish, pork, beef

Combine with thin slices of avocado on toasted pandesal or soda crackers.

Layer suggestion: Place slices of avocado on top of toasted pandesal or soda crackers. Top the avocado with any of the fish or meats above. Finally placed the salsa on top, then garnish with a leaf of fresh parsley.

This goes well with a fresh fruit shake or an iced tea.

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