a journal of tea-inspired foods and recipes
I’ve been working on a mango tea vinaigrette recipe for a while now, and I’ve finally come up with one that I love.
It’s a sweet, limey and slightly creamy vinaigrette that makes a great dressing for greens, but it would also be great in a shrimp, crab or chicken salad, or it could work as a finishing sauce for a piece of seared or broiled fish. I’ve even used it as a spread for a turkey sandwich wrap.
I used a mango-flavored black tea blended with ginger root for this recipe. But you could use any mango-inspired tea blend here and get similar results.
Happy cooking and sipping!
Makes 4 large servings
½ cup filtered water, boiled
2 teaspoons loose leaf mango-ginger black tea blend (or any mango-inspired tea blend)
2 ripe, but firm, mangoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
zest and juice of 1 lime
½ teaspoon agave nectar (or honey)
2 tablespoons canola oil
pinch of salt
fresh ground pepper, to taste
8 thin, round slices of pancetta
1 large head of romaine lettuce, washed and torn into large bite size pieces
half of a red bell pepper, cut into ½-inch dice
2 scallions, just the green parts, sliced thin
2 tablespoons soft, crumbly goat cheese
1. Prepare the vinaigrette: Steep the loose leaf tea in the boiled water for 5 minutes. Strain, discard the tea leaves, and set the brewed tea aside. Add about ¼ cup of the diced mango to a blender or food processor, and set the rest of the mango aside. (Tip: Use any of the damaged or mashed up mango pieces for the dressing; save the nice looking pieces for the salad topping.) Also in the blender, add 3 tablespoons of the brewed tea, lime zest and juice, agave nectar (or honey), canola oil, pinch of salt, and fresh ground pepper (about 3 or 4 turns from a grinder). Blend until very smooth. Transfer the vinaigrette to a small container (the recipe makes about ½ cup). Set aside, or cover and refrigerate until ready to prepare the salad.
2. Make the pancetta crisps: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Arrange the pancetta rounds in a single layer in a baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes, until evenly browned and getting crisp. Remove from the oven, and transfer pancetta crisps to a paper towel-lined plate, so they can cool down and release some of their excess grease.
3. Prepare the salad: In a large salad bowl, toss the romaine pieces with about ¼ cup of the vinaigrette. Add additional vinaigrette as necessary, to taste. Divide the dressed greens among 4 bowls or plates. Top each serving of greens with mango pieces, red bell pepper, scallions, goat cheese, and a couple of pancetta crisps. Serve with any extra vinaigrette on the side.