Every once in a while, I like to sit down to a meal of all of my favorite foods and really indulge. A nice steak with some thick cut fries and maybe a bit of mac ‘n cheese. Get a little crazy, ya know? In theory, this should be the most amazing meal ever, but afterward I often feel like something was missing.
The more I get to know myself, I have found that if there isn’t something fresh and healthy included in the meal, it’s not going to be quite right. It’s too rich, too heavy, too much. I need something bright, fresh, and a bit acidic. I need something exactly like this Martin Salad to balance things out.
So what the heck is Martin Salad, you ask? Do you name your mangoes Martin, then chop them up to make a salad? Is that where you get the name? (That’s just twisted.)
Martin Salad started long ago when Tony (my love and our SML photographer) was just a wee lad. As with most kinds, he and his brother weren’t that interested in eating vegetables at family gatherings. His tio Martin brilliantly concocted a salad that was a mix of fruit and vegetables to trick them into eating their veggies. And it worked. It worked so well, in fact, that many years later this salad is still well known and served to this day. The salad never really had a name, so Tony simply dubbed it Martin Salad after his Uncle. This is our interpretation of this legendary salad.
The mix of mangoes, celery, cucumber, red onion, and baby greens is perfect for those special meals. The hint of sweetness from the mango makes it feel exotic while the lime-cilantro vinaigrette hits that sour spot, lightening up the meal. But it’s really great for any time (Picnics!) because it’s healthy and a crowd pleaser.
Too little time? Try this hack. No time to make a salad the day of the meal? This can easily be made ahead of time, saving you a little bit of headache. Simply combine everything except for the baby greens and pepitas. Toss those in right before serving and dig right in! Dressed greens start to wilt shortly after due to the acidic dressing and salt. These ingredients tend to break down the delicate cell walls of the baby greens. Not only that, but the pepitas will start to get chewy and soggy. That’s why it’s a good idea to hold off on adding the greens and pumpkin seeds until you’re ready to get the meal started.
Do you have any special dishes that make an appearance at every family gathering? Do you like something fresh with your meals? Please tell us your story! We can’t wait to hear all about it. See you soon!
Martin Salad Recipe
Prep time: 15 mins
Total time: 15 mins
This fresh and healthy Martin Salad is tasty, even for those who don’t want to eat their veggies.
- ½ teaspoon finely grated lime zest
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- 2 ripe mangoes, peeled and diced into 1-inch pieces
- 4 ribs of celery, thinly sliced
- ½ seedless (English or Hot House) cucumber, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced into half moons
- ½ small red onion, cut in half, then thinly sliced
- 4 cups mixed baby greens
- 3 tablespoons pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
- salt to taste
- In a large bowl, whisk together the lime zest, juice, vegetable oil, cilantro, minced garlic, sugar, and salt.
- Add the mangoes, celery, cucumber, red onion, and baby greens to the bowl, season with salt, and toss to combine. Sprinkle with pepitas and serve right away. If you don’t plan to eat the salad right away, combine everything except the greens and pepitas. Toss the greens in right before serving, top with pepitas, and enjoy!