The Treasure Coast Garden has very few pleasures in the month of July. Heat and humidity have set in, so staying cool inside while reading about gardening is my preferred mode. One high point this month is the fruit on the Mango tree is finally ripe and ready to eat.
Mangoes are very easy to grow, have few pests and grow as far north as Merritt Island, but only in protected coastal locations. Select a tree appropriate to the size of your garden, varieties of Mangoes range in mature size from 15 to 60 or more feet tall with a 30 foot spread, thus there are many types to choose from Mango variety viewer . Plant the tree in an open, sunny area with well drained soil, water until established, use a good fruit tree fertilizer and in a few years you’ll be eating homegrown Mangoes.
I have a Nam Doc Mai Mango in my garden. One of my favorite uses of the fruit is Mango Salsa. My husband and I enjoy the salsa with grilled fish (Mahi Mahi or Swordfish) or chicken. For your dining pleasure, behold the recipe:
1 large ripe mango
1/2 medium red bell pepper
3 green onions (use white and light green parts only)
Two limes (juiced)
Pinch of red pepper flakes or a few drops Tabasco (hot pepper sauce)
1 teaspoon honey (or to taste)
1 Tablespoon cilantro (chopped)
Peel mango, remove seed and coarsely chop. (1/2 to 3/4 inch pieces) Clean seeds and membrane from red bell pepper and coarsely chop (1/2 to 3/4 inch pieces). Slice green onions, thinly. Mix chopped mangoes, peppers and onions while pouring lime juice over, add pepper flakes or Tabasco sauce and honey. Stir to combine and sprinkle cilantro over salsa. Taste and adjust honey and pepper to your sweet or spicy preference.
A few tips.
This recipe serves four if you want a little scoop on the side of your fish, however, my husband and I easily devour the entire amount.
Mangoes should be selected for ripeness when the fruit feels spongy, but will ripen on the counter if hard when purchased.
This salsa is best made a few hours ahead of dinner and refrigerated to allow flavors to meld, though thirty minutes on the counter will work in a pinch.