Dear Summer,

Yesterday, June 13,  I used the heated seats in my car. Please understand we have 6 winter months in which that is acceptable, June is not one of them. Summer is for A/C and barbeques. Swimming pools and beaches. Beer and mango, black bean salads. Not heated seats. I’d appreciate it if you could get your act back together.

*Warmest* regards,



Mangoes bring me back to my childhood and memories of my dad. I can clearly remember the first time I had one.  We waited patiently for it to ripen on the countertop. Once ripe, it went into the fridge to chill. Then, we all waited for dad to cut it “correctly”. Did you know mangoes are the national fruit of India? My dad grew up in Calcutta, India. He knows mangoes.


From that day on mangoes have been one of my all time favorite fruits. I don’t know why I then tend to forget about them for extended periods of time. It’s almost as if they are too much of a “treat” to just be considered fruit. I equate them more with the likes of chocolate cake. Enjoyed occasionally, not an everyday indulgence. When they caught my eye in the grocery store yesterday, I knew it was time for us to get reacquainted.

Since the weather hasn’t been cooperating, I decided to take matters into my own hands and create a salad that at least tastes like summer. Mangoes + black beans + cilantro = summer. Anyone who disagrees with that equation obviously didn’t excel in math class.


6 ingredients + chopping/dicing + a simple vinaigrette = 1 delicious summer salad

That’s some AP stuff right there. Or not. I got a 2 in AP calc, what do I know?IMG_0322IMG_0332IMG_0340


Mango, Black Bean Salad

Makes 6-8 side dish portions

  • 1 large ripe mango, diced
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed
  • 2 fresh ears of corn, cut off the cob
  • 1 very small red onion or 1/4  of a medium red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup packed cilantro, diced
  • 1 medium jicama, coarsely chopped

Simple vinaigrette:

  • 3 tbsp evoo
  • juice of 1 lemon or 1/2 lemon + 1/2 lime
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt & pepper


After chopping and dicing, combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients and pour over salad. Toss to combine. Season with more salt and pepper if needed and chill before serving.


How do you cut/eat a mango? I have a coworker who pokes a hole in it and then sucks the fruit out.



Filed under Recipes, Side Dishes

31 responses to “Dear Summer,

  1. I tried mango in middle school and hated it. The first time I re-tried it was last month in Cali when I visited Pinkberry. Now I know I like mango! I was so excited at this discovery. Funny how tastes change with time…

  2. Who pokes a hole and sucks the fruit out? lol

    I don’t really like mangos (I think they taste like carrots, which I also don’t like), but I DO like them with Thai sticky rice. Delicious!

  3. Taralyn

    I have a mango corer (like an apple corer). It’s pretty sweet. My friend peels off the skin and then eats the mango like a hand fruit. Which I thought was the weirdest way you could eat them, but I think sucking the fruit out of a hole probably beats that!

  4. barbara gubbay

    I love this. Somehow I have an urge to add some orange to this recipe? think it would be too many ingredients? I’ve been craving citrus lately. You know me the more fruit the better!

  5. I have that mango cutter gadget too! But I still struggle with it. I can never get nice cubes out of my mango but I’m guessing that’s because they’re over ripe!

  6. We’re doing something similar tonight with chicken. What I wouldn’t give to be cool right now! I wish I could send up 10 degrees and take 10 degrees off your hands.

  7. Ooo summer where are you i agree? but remember last week was crazy hot!

  8. Hahah – I love your letter to summer. I was happy it cooled down at first because it was just TOO hot before. But now I’m kind of like “really?” Though I guess it’s not “technically” summer until the 21st so I’m going to let it slide.

    I’m not a mango fan unfortunately. I wish I were and I try to like it every so often but it just never works out. I DEFINITELY did not know you can literally poke a straw in it and suck the fruit out!

  9. Haha at your letter to summer! Your pictures are looking great btw! Love the light on that first mango shot!!

  10. I love this recipe! It looks so summery! I’m sorry you had to use your heated seats! eek! No not acceptable at all in June!!

  11. Just discovered you on J’s blog…this is an amazing site! I’ve been searching for black bean mango salad for a long time, I am definitely trying this out!

  12. Oh wow, I love mangos- I’d never think to try them with cilantro!

  13. Ashley

    I’ve only just recently been introduced to mango and I’ve been trying to figure out how to cut one correctly. In fact, just last night I butchered one to bits. The bits were still delicious, mind you, I just know there’s got to be a better way. It looks like you’ve peeled it, and then cubed around the edges while it’s still attached to the pit?

    • I actually slice it off around the stone so you get 2 big pieces and two small pieces. Then I “scored” the pieces (which is the pic with all the cubes) and kind of pop them off. It’s not an easy fruit to deal with, but this is the best way I’ve found. Although some commenters have made a good case for a mango slicer! who knew!

  14. I absolutely LOVE mangos!

  15. I have the following comments/questions.
    1. Amen on your letter to mr. Weather. Let me know what it says back. I’m guessing it’ll be along the lines of, “You’re SOL. Welcome to the Northeast.”
    2. How long does it take you to put together one post including taking all those pictures? I am imagining about a day-full because your pictures are amazing.
    3. How do you take those pictures while cooking? I’ve already managed to get flour all over my camera. Plus I’ve almost dropped it into food on numerous occasions. And my pictures don’t come out as great with food because I’m usually hurrying to take a photo before I burn something. Or cut a finger off. Or get raw chicken juices all over it (so gross and makes me all gaggy).
    4. Mangoes remind me of Gabby.
    5. I actually just had 4 things but 5 sounds so much better….doesn’t it?

    • Kat- It usually takes about 30 minutes of staggered photography and anywhere from 30 mins to -1 hr to write the actual post. Thanks though 🙂
      I have to say that it definitely helps to not have kids and a husband who doesn’t come home until 7:30pm on a good day when it comes to taking the pics while cooking. I’m not distracted and I can run between my kitchen and my living room (best light) without needing to “get something on the table” quick. It definitely drags the whole cooking process out, but it’s fun to me 🙂

  16. Gina your mango is PERFECT! Wow, the slicing magic you worked…perfection!

    And the salad recipe looks lovely! 🙂

  17. not a huge mango fan…hmmmm….maybe need to retry this way

  18. Every Indian loves mangoes and there is a special variety called the Alfonso mangoes that are freakin delicious!

    Love the salad!

  19. Co-sign to your mother nature letter!!

    And that mango salsa looks off the hook. I’ve never made mango salsa!

  20. I don’t think I’ve actually ever eaten like an actual mango lol I’ve had it in shakes but I’ve never taken the fruit and chopped it up to eat lol

  21. Pingback: A run for sanity | Running to the Kitchen

  22. Oh this looks so delicious!! I am excited to try this soon. Like tomorrow!!

  23. Pingback: NROLFW update & more mango | Running to the Kitchen

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s