If it feels like tomatoes rule the day, you’re right. This is the second instalment in my new blog series “He says, she says” (where Monsieur and I cook healthy recipes, then compare notes), and it’s the third tomato recipe in a row, after the Mackerel in Tomato Sauce and the Tomato and Bread Salad. What can I say, with our short Canadian summer, tomatoes shine for such a short time, we basically gorge ourselves.
The second “healthy diet recipe” of the week therefore is Josée di Stasio’s Tomato & Mango Salad from her first cookbook going all the way back to 2004, À la di Stasio. Let’s go!
In the car coming back from antiques hunting in the Laurentians:
— Since we have ripe mangoes and Lufa tomatoes at home, I’m planning on serving a recipe from Josée di Stasio I never make because you don’t like when I cook with fruit. Not sure you’re going to enjoy tonight’s supper. (Bracing for the Complaint Department to open on a Saturday.)
— The one with basil and curry? You made that a long time ago. (Glances over sarcastically.)
— What? You sure? I don’t remember that.
— Yes and it was great. Which means of course you never cooked it again because the moment you’ve hit it on the nail, and I like something, your work is done. You move on to test another recipe and I never get to see any food I dig ever again.
(Sigh, this is Monsieur’s usual, nagging complaint, although not unjustified, ahem.)
By the time supper came around, he decided to cook his signature mackerel, so the salad was pushed back two days. Over hamburger on the barbecue and this salad on this side, we got to talking again…
— I didn’t know this recipe until an art director friend of mine served it to me one day, though I already owned Josée’s cookbook and I love everything she makes. I’m surprised you could find such beautiful mangoes in the middle of summer, usually we get them in the middle of winter, when exotic fruits are best.
— Well, enjoy, not sure I’ll be able to find more of these Fat Cats. Wonder how this would taste with kerosene mango, hahaha.
— Good God, spare me. (Side note: Like its name implies, the kerosene mango has an aftertaste of kerosene or even turpentine. They make me gag.)
— Kerosene mangoes are actually pretty good, just not the ones you find here. It’s the only mango you can make a hole and just suck out the flesh. You can’t base yourself on what stores sell in North-America.
— If you say so… I like that so few ingredients come together so nicely here. This salad reminds me of a peach and tomato salad that an old food magazine in the basement proclaims as “Russian.” Whatev’.
— Well I love this salad, it’s spectacular. Of course, I should use reverse psychology and pretend I hate it, so you’ll make it again and again.
— You’re exaggerating.
— No I’m not. I loathe that chicken and chickpea stew with the lemons, yet you must have cooked it 30 times in the past two years. You’ve got a mean bone for a foodie.
— I cook it because it’s one of my favourite dishes, not to drive you nuts. Find more killer mangoes and I’ll serve this all summer till it’s coming out of your ears. This is not only good, it’s crazy healthy.
— I’ll believe it when I see it.
Note: Like all self-respecting foodies, I have my go-to vinegars (and a few more bottles cluttering the pantry), namely seasoned rice vinegar and white balsamic vinegar. Monsieur hates sour tastes (another one of his food hang-ups), whereas I’m a French girl through and through. Give me a cheek-slapping French dressing with the combined sharpness of red wine vinegar and Dijon, I’m happy. Him, not so much. So overtime, I’ve transitioned towards rice and white balsamic vinegars with their milder profile. The Favuzzi organic vinegar below, which by law has to be called a “condiment” since it’s not a traditional black balsamic, is my everyday guy.