Layered Salad with Black Beans and Mango-Cucumber Salsa

by on July 24, 2012
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Layered Salad with Black Beans and Mango-Cucumber Salsa

Ever since I was a child, one of the highlights of summer is the arrival of fresh mangoes. When I was growing up in the 60’s and 70’s, mangoes weren’t available in the local A&P or Piggly Wiggly. They were a rare treat that we enjoyed only after a visit to or from our Florida relatives. One of the few food memories I have is of my father cutting off small pieces of mango for us children to sample to see if we liked it; he wasn’t willing to waste the precious fruit on kids who might not appreciate it. I can’t remember what my brother and sister thought of it, but I loved the rich, perfumed sweetness of my first mango. These days I don’t have to visit Florida to get my mango fix. When summer rolls around, I buy mangoes by the box from the Indian grocery just a mile from my house.


This summer, I made my way through two $10 boxes–about 20 pounds–of “Champagne” mangoes, and because the mangoes in the second box started out a little over-ripe, I scurried to use them all, tossing them into my curried rice and my salads, as well as just eating them leaning over the kitchen sink or cutting them to share with the family. My favorite way to prepare them is to cut them into “hedgehogs”:

Mango "Hedgehog"

Just stand the mango on its stem end and slice each side off by cutting as close as you can to the seed that runs through the middle. Then take each “cheek” and make parallel slices through the length of the mango down to (but not through) the skin. Turn and make palallel slices width-wise. Then press on the skin side to flip the mango inside out, making a little hedgehog. Kids (and parents like me) love to eat the mango flesh right off the hedgehog (have napkins ready!) but if you’re using the mango in a dish, you can easily slice the cubes off the skin. Don’t neglect to use the mango around the seed–there’s usually a good bit clinging to it. (If you’ve never done this before, check out one of the many mango-cutting videos available online.)

Mangoes and black beans just seem to belong together, so for lunch one day last week, I seasoned some black beans, threw together some mango salsa, and piled them both on some baby lettuce that I’d tossed with a little white balsamic vinaigrette. I used the black beans hot off the stove so they wilted the lettuce a little (I like that), but you can also chill both the beans and the salsa for a truly cold salad. And, if you’re into the “salad in a jar” thing, you can layer the cold ingredients in mason jars to grab and eat throughout the week. Just put the ingredients into the jar in reverse order–salsa on the bottom, beans in the middle, and greens on top. Just before serving, drizzle on a little salad dressing, shake, pour into a bowl, and enjoy. I used the recipes below, along with about a pound of lettuce, to make two huge salads, but since most people don’t eat industrial-sized salads like I do, I’ve calculated the nutrition using four servings. If you’re a ginormous salad eater like me, just double the numbers.

Layered Salad with Black Beans and Mango-Cucumber Salsa
Layered Salad with Black Beans and Mango-Cucumber Salsa

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Michelle @ Eat Move Balance July 24, 2012 at 8:01 am

This looks so delicious to me! I just learned how to easily cut a mango like that, and did a post about it. Wish I had known years ago! And, I recently made a cucumber salsa that was really good, so I like your twist on it. Thanks–can’t wait to try it!


2 janet @ the taste space July 24, 2012 at 8:03 am

Mangoes and black beans go so well together and I am loving this simple salad. It reminds me of my black bean and mushroom tacos (Also with a mango salsa) but I used Swiss chard as a wrap instead in the taco shell. A hidden salad, for sure.

I have been meaning to try the salad-in-a-jar trick and may finally get around to it next week. :-)


3 Jacqueline July 24, 2012 at 8:45 am

What a beautifully fresh salad. I just love it.


4 Betsy DiJulio July 24, 2012 at 9:06 am

Love all of your riffs on mangoes!


5 MyRedSandals July 24, 2012 at 9:53 am

Janet: Would you share your black bean/mushroom taco recipe?


6 Millie Snyder July 24, 2012 at 10:02 am

I always look forward to mango’s too! Their one of my favorite fruits. The sweetness is unique and incomparable to any other fruit. AND, I cut my mango’s the same way as you! It’s so easy :)


7 wendy (healthy girl's kitchen) July 24, 2012 at 10:03 am

Yum. I love the combination of sweet and savory. Thanks for the inspiration Susan!


8 moonwatcher July 24, 2012 at 10:36 am

Hi Susan,

This looks great! I love mangoes and black beans together, too, and Ancho Chile is my favorite chile. There is a new Asian Grocery down the street from me and now you’ve got me curious about whether they ever stock mangoes. Might be cheaper than the organic ones at my co-op, which I definitely cannot buy in numbers. Still, I love them! I am thinking nectarines or peaches might work in this, too, though the effect would be a little different. Or maybe one mango among peach or nectarine. . .hmmm. . . .though I am a ginourmous salad eater myself, I may have to try Cathy’s salad in a jar idea sometime, just because I am intrigued by it.

Thanks for another great recipe and post–beautiful photos and I loved reading the memory of your first mango.




9 Vicky July 24, 2012 at 10:53 am

This looks awesome, I love black beans!


10 Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy July 24, 2012 at 11:22 am

what a gorgeous, gorgeous salad! i love all the layers! so colorful!


11 Vicky (Sweet and Healthy Living) July 24, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Yum this combo looks so good! I love mango salsa and paired with black beans…. delicious!


12 janetxb July 24, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Thanks for the great idea. It’s what’s for dinner tonight!


13 janetxb July 24, 2012 at 10:41 pm

Report: It was completely delicious!


14 Susan Voisin July 25, 2012 at 8:18 am

So glad you enjoyed it!


15 Anu July 24, 2012 at 9:29 pm

Yay! I was just thinking today that I need a new recipe for a black bean salad that does not involve corn and avocados.


16 Kristen July 24, 2012 at 9:56 pm

Thanks for posting! This was the perfect meal for us to tonight!


17 Orlando July 24, 2012 at 10:45 pm

Great photos and awesomely quick-healthy recipe! I’ve followed your blog for about a year now and I’ve enjoyed every single post! Keep’m coming!



18 Lisa @ The Raw Serenity July 24, 2012 at 11:31 pm

I wish mango’s were in season here!
This looks so delicious!

Mangos are by far the most amazing food.
Great recipe, thanks for sharing xx


19 LisaT July 25, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Thank you for sharing this recipe. It looks delicious and very easy, I look forward to making it this weekend!


20 veganamericanprincess July 25, 2012 at 7:40 pm

These mango recipes look refreshing! Your written directions re: how to cut a mango were a little hard to follow but I will refer to your recommended video clips! Btw, I love your sight and made your curried chickpeas & kale recipe the other night. It was great. Your photo looked better than mine (your kale was much greener) but it tasted great!!! I was testing out a new non-stick wok I recently purchased. Trying to go fat-free!!


21 Amber Fountain July 26, 2012 at 9:18 pm

I can never find the ancho chile powder. Will regular chile powder be okay? I wanted to let you know I love your recipes! I have recently decided to become vegan and you have inspired me!!!


22 Susan Voisin July 26, 2012 at 10:47 pm

You can use regular chili powder. Just use a little more and reduce the cumin a little if the chili powder contains cumin. Good luck on your vegan journey!


23 urbanvegan July 27, 2012 at 10:27 am

Funny, I never tasted a mango until I was in my late 20s! Now I am addicted–and those little champagne numbers are the best, aren’t they? Thanks for this wonderful recipe.


24 Tormarie July 29, 2012 at 10:23 am

This looks beautifully refreshing. I have similar memories of my mammy going out to buy pomelos, mangos, lychees and all sorts – we would have a tiny bit to see if we even liked them, and years later I buy them in boxes. :)


25 Vegan July 30, 2012 at 12:26 am

It almost looks too beautiful to eat. Now i can have a big salad with lots of herbs and veggies and some fresh fruit.


26 Amber Fountain July 30, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Oh MY GOODNESS!!!! This was delicious! Even my kids liked it, and they are kinda picky. This was a rockin’ way to start my first day as a vegan. Thanks for a great recipe.


27 Susan Voisin July 31, 2012 at 8:29 am

Congratulations on your first day as a vegan! I’m honored that you chose my recipe to make on this important day.


28 Happy Little Feet August 2, 2012 at 9:12 pm

That looks wonderful, what a beautiful combination cucumber and mango.


29 Vegan August 7, 2012 at 5:22 am

I have not tried using mangoes in salads but I would love to try your recipe. It looks delicious and healthy. Besides salads, what other dishes can you suggest that use mangoes?


30 Emma September 8, 2012 at 2:27 pm

So what kind of dressing would you recommend putting on this salad? I don’t want to ruin all the flavors with a basic balsamic vinaigrette but i’m worried about it being dry – is it ok to serve without dressing?


31 Karen June 11, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Thanks! Another great taste sensation. We made a double batch (we, too had bought a box of champagne mangos). I was surprised by the cucumber ingredient, but it really did enhance the salsa. Used some as a side with the black beans and rice. Used some the next day as as a topping for salad (with no other dressing-it was juicy by then enough for me, but I prefer a really lightly dressed salad). I am thinking that I will spoon a little into a rice paper summer roll with lettuce, etc. next time.


32 Sharon July 22, 2013 at 6:53 pm

Seriously! I do not believe that I have ever found one of your recipes that I didn’t love! You are simply amazing! Whenever I am looking for something specific I always come here first to see if it is something that you have already done. I am never disappointed and neither is my family. We have been indulging in Zinger Tea this week and I am so going to make this salad recipe for our lunches next week!


33 Marielle | Vega in Vianen September 10, 2013 at 4:42 am

Dear Susan, thank you for this dish! I made it twice in the last week and it is by far the best dish I’ve had all summer. When summer hits, I’m all out of inspiration and I’m so glad that, in those barren times, I can count on your brilliance :)


34 Jill July 24, 2015 at 6:05 pm

This salsa makes a great salad dressing for any summer salad.


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