Right behind guac, mango pico is my favorite dip. The flavors are bright and crisp, with lots of heat and a savory sweetness. It is complex, to be sure, but surprisingly easy to put together, especially if you know how to cut up a mango.
There are a million different mango pico's out there, but I have yet to find one like this. Also, I have no idea how my lovely assistant found this recipe oh-so-many years ago, but it was a great hit the first time, and is usually always fantastic. This dip is really dependent on the qualities of the mangoes. Again, I have no real guidelines for picking them, I just squeeze them, smell them, and look at them. They should have a slight give, smell ripe, and have equal parts red and green. That said, I have done this and ended up with very mealy mangoes. Your best bet? Get a loved one to pick them out, then blame them if they suck.
Adjusting this recipe is pretty easy: 2+ jalapenos = damn spicy. Personally, I like mine spicy, though some do not. So I just let them sort it out by digging though the pico and tossing the jalapenos. If you are making this for a crowd that does not like spice, drop one of the peppers. The pico will have just enough spice, but will swing sweeter on the sweet-spicy scale.
Lastly, this dip does not last too long: about 2 days. The lemon in the dip starts to break down the mango rather quickly, and after 2 days, you have a mealy mango mush. One thing that you can do to prolong the dip is to seal it in plastic wrap very tightly. It will last a bit longer with limited exposure to the air.
Mango Pico de Gallo
2 ripe mangoes
1/2 red onion
1 small bunch cilantro
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
Start off by chopping up the mango. I learned a tip from a friend who said that she cuts the mango first, then peals it. This makes the mango easier to handle while chopping. So, try that out! Toss the mango into the bowl.
Finely chop the red onion and jalapeno. Roughly chop up the cilantro to about a 1/4 cup, and add everything to the bowl.
Squeeze one of the lemons over the bowl, and give it a good stir, and taste. If it tastes like it could use some more acidity, add the other lemon. If not, add the brown sugar. Give it another good stir, and taste again.
Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve cold.
Mango Pico de Gallo is great on grilled fish and chicken, and great at parties.