This spinach and mango salad might be super simple — practically all the ingredients are in the title — but it’s lovely to look at and even better to taste.
Mangos are often quite good in the winter and early spring, when you need something on the plate to perk up carb-heavy (and beige-y) meals. This takes minutes to toss together and adds vivid color to the plate.
Baby spinach is the deep green used here, but you can use arugula (or half of each) or mixed baby power greens as well. Dried cranberries and toasted cashews give this salad its yum factor.
The goods on the greens
Time was when spinach and arugula were considered cool-weather leafy greens, but now they’re commonly available available year round, along with other baby greens mixes.
All the baby greens are good used raw as well as lightly cooked. They’re a great addition to smoothies, in which their mild flavor blends beautifully with fruit, and as salad greens.
Spinach comes in a surprising array of varieties, but it seems like many of us have gotten stuck on baby spinach. It’s so convenient — no chopping or stemming. Well, actually, if there are a lot of long skinny stems, I do like to pull some of those off.
And unlike fresh batches of larger leaf varieties, baby spinach is triple washed and super clean. That said though, I still like to give any greens, even those labeled triple-washed, a good rinse before using.
Arugula has a bold flavor, sometimes described as peppery or mustardy, though somehow those fail to capture its unique flavor. Baby or young arugula leaves are less pungent than larger leaves that are left to grow larger before harvesting. Arugula is used raw (in which form it retains more of its bite) and wilted or very lightly cooked.
Arugula is similar to spinach in the ways it can be used, and can be interchanged with it in many dishes, or it can replace part of the amount of spinach called for, like this one.
Power greens are a new addition to the market, combining baby chard, baby kale, and baby spinach in one neat package. You’ll find this located wherever baby spinach and baby arugula are shelved in the produce sections of well-stocked supermarkets.
- 2 to 3 big handfuls baby spinach (see variations), about 2 to 3 ounces
- 1 ripe mango, peeled and diced
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup toasted cashews
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup balsamic or raspberry vinaigrette, or as needed
Combine all the ingredients in a serving bowl and toss together. You can leave off the vinaigrette if you won’t be serving the salad right away, or if you prefer to just pass it around. That’s it — enjoy!
If you'd like to make your own dressing, see the balsamic variation of our Basic Vinaigrette.
If you like this colorful winter salad, you might also enjoy …
See lots more easy vegan salads & sides.