When raw greens are combined with fruits and nuts, a salad becomes edible. Lovable even. Yep, just like this lychee and mango salad with honey-mustard dressing.
What is lychee? Lychee is Litchi chinensis, an evergreen tree that produces sweet fleshy fruits. The fruit’s rind is green when immature but it turns pink to red when mature and ripe. According to Chinese literature, China has been cultivating the fruit since the 11th century. There are several varieties and their characteristics differ.
The latter are called “dry- and -clean” and are highly prized. There is much variation in form (round, egg-shaped or heart-shaped), skin color and texture, the fragrance and flavor and even the color, of the flesh; and the amount of “rag” in the seed cavity; and, of prime importance, the size and form of the seed.Source
Finding fresh lychees is not easy even in Asia. Canned, however, if widely available, and there is so much that you can do with canned lychees apart from eating them right off the can. One way is to combine them with fresh mangoes, salad greens and nuts to make a lovely salad.
Lychee and mango salad
For the dressing
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- salt - to taste
- pepper - to taste
For the salad
- 1 handful handful lettuce - any variety
- 1 small cucumber
- 1 cup lychees - I used canned
- 1 sweet ripe mango
- ¼ cup roasted nuts - any kind
Make the salad dressing
- Take a jar with a screw-type cap and pour in the honey, mustard, olive oil and lemon juice.
- Shake well to combine.
- Add salt and pepper, and shake again.
- Taste and add more salt and pepper, as needed.
Prep the salad
- Rinse the lettuce well. Tear the lettuce into bite-size pieces and dry with a salad spinner.
- Cut the cucumber into thin rings. Peel them before cutting or not is up to you.
- If using canned lychees, drain well. If they are rather large, cut them into halves.
- Cut both sides of the mango as close to the stone as you can. Score the mango flesh without piercing the skin then scoop out with a spoon.
- Roughly chop the nuts.
- Toast in an oil-free pan until lightly browned and glistening. Cool.
Assemble the salad
- Place the lettuce, cucumber rings, lychees, mango strips and half of the nuts in a bowl.
- Using your hands, toss them lightly. Pour in just enough salad dressing to wet the ingredients.
- Toss lightly once more.
- Heap the salad into bowls and top with the remaining nuts.