Ensalada Tropical (Spanish Tropical Salad)

My friends Nicole and Ray prepared the following recipe for this month's Chef Spotlight dinner where we highlighted Spanish chefs and cuisine. The combination of fruit and seafood in this salad is so refreshing and wonderful for summer.

"Ensalada Tropical" originates from the south of Spain, in the provinces of Granada and Malaga. The Costa Tropical in Granada is a coastal valley and micro climate, where wonderful tropical fruits and vegetables grow year-round. The mixture of fruit, cheese and fish is very unusual, but creates a delicious and tantalizing taste for a side dish. When making this dish for dessert, leave out the salmon and anchovies.

Ensalada Tropical (Spanish Tropical Salad)
recipe from

1 mango
1 kiwi
1 avocado
3 anchovies, rinsed if canned
1 apple
2 slices of smoked salmon
1 piece of fresh, soft cheese, like Mozarrella, about 1/2 cup
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup vinegar
salt to taste

Serves 4-6.

Peel all fruit, then slice as indicated below.

Mango: Slice the mango at the widest part of the fruit, into 6-8 slices, about 1/8 inch thick.

Kiwi: Cut the kiwi in slices about a ¼ inch thick.

Apple: Core the apple and cut it into ¼ inch slices. It does not matter if the slices break into smaller pieces.

Avocado: Slice the avocado in half lengthwise, then peal it. Put the avocado on the cutting board and slice it lengthwise into 1/8 inch pieces and open into a fan.

Reserve a slice of each fruit to make the vinaigrette.

Note: If you wish to add or substitute fruit, be creative! We substituted papaya for the apple, since it is summer and the papaya is in season.

Cut the cheese into small chunks or slices to place on the salad or around the platter, as in the photograph. Slice the anchovies into 2-3 pieces each. Slice the smoked salmon into several pieces. The size of the pieces of these ingredients do not have to be exact. You simply want them to be small enough so each person is able to easily serve themselves.

Place the reserved fruit into a food processor, adding the olive oil and vinegar and a pinch of salt to taste. Whirl it until it is neither too thick, nor too runny. It should be about the consistency of canned tomato sauce.

Using a large platter, place 3-4 slices of the mango in the center. Then, place the rest of the fruit and cheese on the plate around the center, alternating the fruit. Put the pieces of salmon and anchovies on top of each other in the center. Finally, top with the slices of mango.

Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and the plate. Last, drizzle a thin thread of the sugar cane honey over the salad and plate, if desired.

Do you have friends who don't care for fish? Then simply serve the salmon and anchovies in a side dish and allow your guests to decide if they will include them in the salad.

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