Mango season in Hawaii is beginning to reach its peak for harvest, as it always is during summer. With that, many of you with trees or who have family or friends with trees will start receiving what sometimes becomes more mangoes than you know what to do with, or care to eat yourself.
A table full of Hayden mangoes a coworkers shared with us from his home in Ewa Beach. This is actually the leftovers. There originally was much more than this!
You’ve made pickled mango, shoyu mango, mango chutney, mango bread, and perhaps even Geico Caveman’s favorite: Roast Duck with Mango Salsa. lol
But what else can you do with it? Mango Bruschetta, of course!
I actually came up with this recipe myself, when one day I happened to have a fresh loaf of French Bread and some mangoes sitting on the same counter. I looked at them both, put the two together (as I’ll soon demonstrate here) and voila! Mango Bruschetta! There might be a few other variations of “Mango Bruschetta” on the web, but none were referenced at all when I thought this up.
My preparation is very simple and adheres to the basic principle of authentic Italian Bruschetta (pronounced “bru’sketta”) – namely in the rubbing of a fresh garlic clove on the toasted bread and the use of quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a.k.a. “EVOO”.
Here we have from left to right: Extra Virgin Olive Oil (good quality), fresh peeled garlic cloves, Fresh Cracked Black Pepper (mill), Mango (chilled, fresh, ripe and sweet), Hawaiian Salt and French Bread. I prefer the fresh, piping hot-out-of-the-oven French Bread from Safeway (great crust!), but we already had this one from Foodland on hand, so that’s what I’ve got here. Still good.
First peel the mango, then cut slices about 1/4″ thick, and in diameter that will fit nicely over the bread’s surface. Keep chilled in fridge.
Now, cut the french bread into serving slices about 1″ thick, either at a bias (more surface area) or straight across, up to you. Then pop the bread into a toaster oven and toast them until the top and bottom are a nice golden brown…
I’d recommend keeping an eye on them, as they can go from golden brown to BURNT really fast! Remove them as soon as they reach that ideal golden-brown-delicious “GBD” color. This is how they should look…
Now, while they’re still hot, as you see I’ve immediately started to rub a fresh garlic clove over the top surface. What happens when you do this is the toasted top acts like “sandpaper” and literally sands off little bitty pieces of the garlic that go into the pores of the bread. It also take on the oils and flavor essence of the garlic. Rub it just enough so that you liberally covered the whole top surface.
After I rubbed all three pieces of bread with that one garlic clove, this is how it looked…
Notice how it got “sanded down” to about half the size! Mmmmmm, you KNOW that’s gonna’ be some tasty bread!
Then arrange your garlic-rubbed bread on a serving plate and generously pour the Extra Virgin Olive Oil “EVOO” over the top surface of each piece, letting it drip into the dish…
Think of the EVOO as butter. The more you like butter or margarine on your toast, the more you’ll like EVOO on your Bruschetta! Give me more! No scade! More!
Then take the cut mango out of the fridge, and top each one with a slice or two…
A very important finishing touch is to drizzle a little more EVOO on top of the fresh mango slice, then sprinkle or scatter just a little bit of the Hawaiian salt on top, along with a twist or two of fresh cracked black pepper. The Hawaiian salt on top of the mango (vs. on the bread before you put the mango on top) helps to punch the mango’s flavor right through, down to the base of the bread, like one happy Bruschetta should be.
When you eat it, bite right through the mango slice and bread in once chomp…
While I’m eating it, I also like to dip the Mango Bruschetta in the EVOO run-off sitting in the dish. That’s the shindizzle bruschetta twizzle, yo. lol
The exotic, slightly tangy, really sweet mango flavor couples so well with the hearty, crusty french bread, and the garlic and EVOO, along with that boost by the Hawaiian Salt and spice of the black pepper is truly a marriage made in heaven. And it’s so easy to make!
I don’t know though. You may think it sounds, or even tastes weird when/if you try it. I’m banking that you’ll really dig it though. I LOVE IT!
You could even experiment and expand a bit by perhaps adding a basil leaf, some cream cheese, or even mayonnaise, which believe it or not, the latter is FANTASTIC with mangoes! But really, keeping it simple like this is probably the best approach.
I also tried sliced mango on a Rosemary and Olive Oil flavored Triscuit…
Looks like cheese, yeah? lol
How was this? Not bad! Better than with Papaya, which I also tried. That didn’t really work, but the mango was pretty darned good. Not GREAT like it is on Bruschetta, but good.
So when you’ve got the Mango Bread Blues, pick up a bottle of EVOO and a loaf of french bread and make yourself some Mango Bruschetta!