Numerous posts on this blog have been dedicated to my mother.

They include recipes I’ve stolen from her, stories about learning to cook from her, and anecdotes about her that I’m sure she’s thrilled will forever live on the internet. But I’ve never really mentioned the cooking experiences I’ve shared with my mother-in-law, Jeanette. Plus, she’s retiring at the end of this week, so it’s only appropriate to pay tribute to her.

Mango, Avocado, Cucumber, and Cherry Tomato Salad | Things I Made Today

When Jeanette threw together this salad one day, I secretly wrote down the ingredient list. It was so good and I knew I wanted to share it here, but I figured I’d share a little bit more than just the salad.

Mango, Avocado, Cucumber, and Cherry Tomato Salad | Things I Made Today

It was about four years ago that I first shared a meal with Jason’s family. It’s always interesting to sit at another family’s dinner table for the first time. You try to pick up on cues of how they do things: Is salad considered it’s own course? Is it acceptable to grab seconds before everyone’s finished their first plate? Will there be dessert?

Mango, Avocado, Cucumber, and Cherry Tomato Salad | Things I Made Today

It didn’t take too long to learn the answers to these questions or to feel entirely welcome when visiting my in-laws. I came to expect that dinner, whether the casual-drop-in-for-the-weekend kind or the big holiday kind, would always be delicious. Unlike in my family where we treat holidays as an opportunity to experiment, in Jason’s family, tradition rules. Holiday meals are all about recipes that have been perfected, and you know just what to expect every time.

Mango, Avocado, Cucumber, and Cherry Tomato Salad | Things I Made Today

I’m sure that someday, I’ll get the chance to spill traditional Cassidy recipes on the blog. But for now, let’s turn our attention to this beautiful salad full of mangoes, avocados, cucumbers, and cherry tomatoes all tossed together with spinach and asiago cheese and a simple balsamic vinaigrette. Jeanette claims that this was a “throw together whatever is in the fridge” kind of salad, but I think it deserves to be captured in recipe form for others to enjoy.

Mango, Avocado, Cucumber, and Cherry Tomato Salad
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 8 ounces spinach leaves, chopped into thin strips if large
  • 1 mango, peeled, and cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 avocado, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 2 Persian cucumbers, halved and sliced thin
  • 15 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 ounces asiago cheese, shaved thin
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and lemon juice. Place spinach leaves in a large bowl and toss with dressing. Let sit for about 10 minutes.
  2. Add mango, avocado, cucumbers, tomatoes, and cheese to bowl. Toss to coat and adjust salt and pepper to taste.

 

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