Editor’s note: Whether potato, pasta or chopped, salads are essential summer eating. So celebrate the delicious diversity of salads by following “The 20 Salads of Summer” series featuring the best recipes by the biggest names in the food world.
For Vikas Khanna, one salad simply isn’t enough. The perfect salad meal would have plenty of choices.
“Ideally, I would like to have three or four small salads to just have a taste of each,”
said Khanna, author of the Indian cookbook “Flavors First.” “Variety in taste and texture is typical of Indian cuisine.”
Having more than one salad on hand might have saved Khanna during one of his most vivid salad experiences.
“I was making a grilled steak salad for some guests at home. I had the salad greens ready, and in my hurry I sliced the hot steak and put it right on the salad,” he said. “Of course, the greens wilted and the salad was dead. I filed this under the heading of things you only do once.”
For AP’s 20 Salads of Summer series, Khanna offered a simple fruit salad that sports complex flavors. Dried mango powder, a tangy, pungent seasoning, is key to this recipe. It is widely available in the international aisle of large grocers as well as at Asian markets.
If you can’t find it, substitute the juice of 1 additional lemon for the 2 teaspoons of mango powder called for by the recipe.
Start to finish: 1 hour 15 minutes (15 minutes active)
1/2 medium cantaloupe
1/2 medium honeydew melon
1/2 small watermelon
6 ounces pineapple, cut into 1-inch cubes
Seeds from 1 pomegranate
1 ruby red grapefruit, peeled, sectioned and cut into 1-inch pieces
Juice of 1 large or 2 small lemons
2 teaspoons mango powder
1 tablespoon sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves, plus 6 whole leaves to garnish
Using a melon baller, scoop out balls from the cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients, except the 6 whole mint leaves, then gently mix. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving.
Serve chilled, garnished with whole mint leaves.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 180 calories; 5 calories from fat (3 percent of total calories); 1g fat (0g saturated; 0g trans fats); 0mg cholesterol; 46g carbohydrate; 3g protein; 4g fiber; 70mg sodium.