I went to a Mexican themed dinner party a few months ago, and I had every intent to make something complicated and impossible to transport. Because, you know, that’s how I like to live my life. Inconveniently. I had a hard time deciding which dish would be the most difficult to execute AND most cumbersome to lug to the gym, to work, and finally to my friend’s house. The day of, I had nothing to show for my efforts. I choked. Come 7 p.m., I stopped by a bodega and picked up two avocados and two mangoes. Once I got to my friend’s house, we all started throwing out ideas of what the hell to make of that.

We talked fruity tacos, fruity burritos, or fruity quesadillas, but all the scrunched faces told me that adding cheese could be a problem. When all was said and done, my friend and I made a fruity salsa out of the mangoes and avocados, lime juice, cayenne pepper and salt and pepper. My friend showed me how to dice the mango the right way, which she learned when the adorable Dave Lieberman, stopped by her work. You cut into the mango like a checkerboard, and then you invert the skin so it looks like this:



It was a HIT. Really. The people could not get enough!

With that in mind, I picked up some avocados and mangoes at TJ’s last week. Also, Giada made this amazing looking salad a few weeks ago, and it calls for black and garbanzo beans, roasted corn, and a basil-lime vinaigrette. I bought all that, along with some roma tomatoes.

I started by grilling the corn on the panini press, which takes like 10 minutes for each side to get grill marks. Meanwhile, I diced the mango, one avocado, and one tomato. I rinsed and drained one can of black and one can of garbanzo beans, and tossed all those in with the diced others.

The vinagrette is, like, insanely easy to make. You juice three limes, add in about a third cup of olive oil, and salt and pepper all that. Then, you grab a handful of fresh basil, chop it all up, and toss it in the mix. I mixed it by hand, but I probably would have choked on less basil if I warmed up to the food processor. After having lived two years without, I’m kinda terrified of the machine. I think we’ll learn to love, eventually, but I’m taking my sweet time getting to know it.

Once the corn was all done, I took it off the Press, and cut it off the cobs like Giada does. I looked like such a PRO. It’s times like these that I wished I was an exhibitionist and had a web cam in the kitchen. Maybe in another life. Anyways, I tossed it all together, and ate approx half in one sitting. See below:

insalada Mexicana

insalada Mexicana


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June 2009
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