Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mango & cucumber salad with Pimenton de la Vera

Robert De Niro is standing in the kitchen. He is suspiciously eyeing the door to the hallway. Everything is quiet. He stands and waits. He looks tense. Then he takes two steps back and opens my oven, pulls out some foccaccia and just as he is about to bite into, it my boss walks in a grabs it from him. That is when the crickets start.

Chirp chirp chirp

Why are crickets singing if it is the middle of the day in Milan? And why am I wondering about the crickets instead of questioning why Bobby is sharing foccaccia with my boss in the my kitchen?

Chirp chirp chirp

I open my eyes in the semi-dark room and reach out to turn off the alarm on my iphone. 5:55am. Time to get my big butt out of bed and go running. I really don't feel like going. My running partner isn't coming this morning and I am ever so tempted to nestle in my duvet and sleep in for another half hour. Then I remember that pistachio-filled chocolate I greedily inhaled nibbled on last night while watching the William & Kate E special and know I have no excuse. On top of it all, it is light out these days and perfect running temperature.


I need to do this. I am nearing forty, I had two children plus two C-sections, I have a food blog for God's sake. I have to run by that tree and the homeless guy who says "ciao" everytime I pass only one more time and I am done.


This is for you, so I can keep on baking new cakes and conjuring up new recipes involving the likes of chocolate, nuts, cream, cheese and butter.

How do you food lovers and bloggers stop the calories from leaving their mark on your waistline? I know at least one of you uses a treadmill. If you are the kinda person who has a fabulous, quick burning metabolism, please abstain from shoving it in our faces leaving a comment.

This is a non-recipe, a mere idea, because I can use some healthy, fresh foods instead of calorie-laden desserts (ignore the foccaccia, ribs and olive rolls); because it is spring; because my son has lately vetoed vegetables and I am trying to get him to eat his share of vitamins and to learn that salads can be fun; because when you are in a rush this takes about 5 minutes to prepare and it is sweet, spicy (the kids got a mild version), crunchy and refreshing.

If you love the idea of using mango for more than dessert, here is another fabulous salad. A little more labor intensive but fit for any dinner party.

Adapted from Muy Bueno Cookbook

3 cucumbers, peeled
1 ripe mango, peeled
Pimenton de la Vera, habanero or other chili powder
olive oil
lime juice
Peel and dice the cucumbers and mango. Dress with oil and lime juice (but lemon juice or cider vinegar will do too) and salt and sprinkle over some hot chili powder. If you have cilantro, I would definitely use that too.


  1. Ok, this looks beautiful, fresh and delicious! I love the "idea" posts...they are so inspirational!

    Around this time last year, I decided I HAD to begin some sort of exercise routine because YES the food blogging thing WILL catch up with you! I made my husband move the treadmill (we had sitting on the 3rd floor w/clothes draped over it) to the basement. I started out slow and was patient with I can pretty easily jog 3-4 miles about 4 times a week! It helped for sure!

  2. I am a big fan for all sorts of salads. Love the combination of mango and cucumber. Looks absolutely appetizing.

  3. I hope you did go running; I force myself to exercise and I can't think of one time I thought it was fun; except with swimming.
    Great salad, love it; I can buy a case of mangoes at the Asian market here for a song (imported from Mexico) and love to gobble them up in any way possible!

  4. DD&W - I wish I had room for a treadmill, especially when I am running in the dark in the winter.
    Angie - I agree, I could live on salads.
    ToB - I did go running, the left-right-left-right was supposed to be me running heehee. Lucky you, it is hard to find good ripe manogs here (and avocados by the way!)

  5. That's some dream! My husband would love that Robert de Niro was in your kitchen. That's one of his all time favorite actors. I love the simplicity of this salad. So easy and yet so delicious!

  6. I love how the pimenton brings this salad to a whole new level. It definitely intrigues me. And trust me - I've got to stay active to keep up with my blog! =)

  7. Julie M - tell you husband he is welcome over into my dreams anytime, will try to muster up Robert again so they can share some focaccia.
    Peggy - good to know we all have to burn those calories off, hehe

  8. Haha yes it's true I do have a treadmill although I hate getting on it :( And yes if anyone is blessed with a fast metabolism we don't want to know! :P ;)

  9. Hi Fiona, I love reading your blog, even if sometimes it makes me very nostalgic about my Milan. Stop by my blog and check out what I have for you to show my appreciation!

  10. How could I IGNORE the focaccia and olive rolls??? NOT possible!!! hahaha The salad looks so yummy! My 3 year old doesn't want to eat her veggies either... I might try with this! Buona domenica! Spero non piova troppo! :-)

  11. Julie - I will try to summon up your husband the next time I dream De Niro in my kitchen.
    Manu - it ended up only raining at night, which was perfect. Did the fruit/salad combo work for your little one.

    I read the other comments that were deleted by blogger accidentally. Thanks for leaving them!


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