Mango Pork Salad in a Jar
with blueberry goat cheese, walnuts (or macadamias), cucumbers and a fiery grilled pineapple vinaigrette
I made this salad a couple times … the first time for my yoga friends, in quart-size mason jars. This time I made the salads with mango and strawberries (because I happened to have strawberries that needed using and mangos have been so beautiful and plentiful in the stores lately). I always bring the jars in a small cooler to yoga with me and my yoga sisters take them home and have them for lunch or dinner or whenever they choose to eat them. They often buy me a drink in exchange, or I get free yoga sometimes. I just love trading food for yoga (or, even better, drinks!)
Then I made this lovely salad for my friends at work, at our Hawaiian Luau cooking class, which is really more of a cooking “chat” where we talk about and eat good food. This time I used mango with grilled pineapple and some melon. One of the high points of conversation at that class was talking about how to cut a mango. For a long time, I used to struggle with mangoes … I peeled them and then they slipped all over the place while I tried to cut them. Mangoes are slidey little buggers! But I recently learned a cool method from my sister. Don’t peel the mango. Instead, cut the sides off around the pit, then cut those into a checkerboard pattern, taking care not to cut through the skin. Then you can flip the mango inside out and the little chunks slice right off. It’s brilliant! Here’s a YouTube video showing this method:
Then one of my friends at the cooking class had an even better trick: do the checkerboard thing, but use a glass to cut the chunks of mango off the peel. It’s pretty slick! You don’t get the fun of flipping the mango inside out, but the chunks slide right into the glass.
I so really want to make a video to show you all this fun stuff, but I’m not quite there yet! I need a videographer. I need better lighting. We DO have a videographer at work … could I get them to make a video for me, I wonder?
Anyway, enough about videos! Let’s get back to food … here’s a scrumptious salad you can make with the mangoes you just had a bunch of fun cutting up. It’s amazing with leftover Kalua pork, but if you have other shredded pork on hand, use that. Or for a vegetarian salad, leave out the pork and let the nuts and cheese provide the protein. You are going to LOVE the grilled pineapple dressing, I just know it. It’s heaven with the smoky tender pork … the greens provide a great base and the nuts add the crunch factor. The juicy fruit adds the sweet and the dressing adds a little kick to the salad that is evened out by the cheese.
- 1 fresh ripe pineapple
- 1/4 cup champagne or rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 - 4 Tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- a pinch of granulated garlic
- 1 - 3 Tablespoons roasted hot pepper (such as jalapeno or salsa peppers, to taste)
- About 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground Himalayan sea salt (or sea salt) .. or to taste
- 1 mini cucumber, sliced
- Thin slices of sweet onion (optional)
- 3 - 4 Tablespoons pineapple vinaigrette
- 1/2 - 1 mango, peeled and chopped
- A few chunks of grilled pineapple
- 1/2 cup shredded Kalua pork (recipe here ... or other leftover pork)
- Salad greens
- 1 - 2 Tablespoons toasted walnuts or macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
- Blueberry or honey goat cheese
- Cut a whole pineapple into 1/2-inch slices and heat up the grill. Grill each slice of pineapple for about 4 - 5 minutes each side or until the pineapple is bright yellow and very tender. Cut off the rind, then cut into wedges. Cut the middle core off, then cut the rest into chunks and measure out 1 1/2 cups of the chunks for the dressing. Save the rest of the pineapple for the salad.
- To make the dressing: put the dressing ingredients in a handi chopper or food processor and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the amount of hot pepper and salt to your liking.
- To make a salad: In a wide-mouth quart jar, pour 3 - 4 Tablespoons of dressing in the bottom, then add the cucumber and sweet onion, pineapple, mango, and pork. Fill to the top with greens, stuffing them in tight, then top with the walnuts and a chunk of goat cheese.
- To eat: remove the cheese and nuts from the top, then dump the salad out onto a large plate or salad bowl. Sprinkle with goat cheese & nuts. Enjoy!
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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