Green Mango Salad
- 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 cloves garlic, 2 crushed, 1 thinly sliced
- 2 Thai bird chiles, stems removed and crushed
- 1 stalk lemongrass, outer leaves removed, thinly sliced on the bias, plus one 2-inch-thick piece of lemongrass, outer leaves removed, crushed
- 1 green mango, peeled
- 2 tablespoons Asian garlic chile sauce or sriracha sauce
- 1 large grapefruit, peeled, cut into sections with each section cut in half (reserve 1 tablespoon juice)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 bunch curly endive or frisee, washed, stemmed, and torn into bite-size pieces
- 1 bunch watercress, washed and stemmed
- 1 shallot, peeled, and thinly sliced lengthwise
- 1 finger chile, stems removed, and thinly sliced into rounds
- 10 sprigs fresh mint, washed, leaves picked
- 10 sprigs fresh cilantro, washed, leaves picked, plus more for garnish
- 10 sprigs fresh Thai basil, washed, leaves picked
- 4 tablespoons grated unsweetened coconut, for garnish
- 1 Thai pickled lemon, diced (optional), for garnish
Make the pickling liquid: Combine white vinegar, sugar, 2 cloves crushed garlic, crushed Thai chiles, and crushed lemongrass in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl, and let cool.
Slice down either side of the pit of the mango, forming two halves. Using a mandoline, thinly slice mango halves lengthwise. Add mango to pickling liquid, and pickle for about 30 minutes.
Make dressing: In a medium bowl, combine chile sauce, 1 tablespoon reserved grapefruit juice, and 1 tablespoon pickling liquid. Whisk in olive oil to emulsify. Season with salt and pepper. If too hot, add more pickling liquid.
In a large bowl, mix endive, watercress, shallot, sliced lemongrass, sliced garlic, finger chile, mint, cilantro, and basil leaves. Add half of the grapefruit pieces; toss. Add dressing to salad, and toss. Drain the pickled mango; set aside.
Divide salad equally among four plates. Divide the pickled mango equally, and place on top and around greens. Garnish each plate with remaining grapefruit pieces, 1 tablespoon shredded coconut, Thai pickled lemon, and remaining cilantro sprigs. Serve immediately.