Monday | May 22, 2017
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Annual Mango Festival an island treasure

We are smack-dab in the middle of mango season, which officially runs from May to September, so what better time for the fifth annual Mango Festival?

This free community event will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa at Keauhou Bay. The event is sponsored by Randyl Rupar, promoter extraordinaire of the nonprofit Sanctuary of Mana Kea Gardens, along with the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers of West Hawaii and the resort.

Attendees can explore many ways to enjoy our abundant island crop in food samples and beverages, all while enjoying live music, vendors, arts and crafts and agricultural displays. It’s not too late to enter the mango recipe contest — an entry form is posted at mangofest.org.

The mango is one of nature’s most nourishing fruits, loaded with vitamins A, C and D. In India, where they originated, mangoes are said to cleanse the blood and soothe fevers. But I think the mango’s delicious juicy sweetness is more than enough reason to try them in one of these easy recipes.

Mango-pineapple pilaf

It’s no coincidence that mango stars in the featured recipe for the month of July in the wonderful 2013 calendar produced by the American Culinary Federation Kona-Kohala Chefs Association and Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers. The calendar is available by calling 969-7926. Recipe by Jean Hull, CCF, AAC; makes 3 or 4 servings.

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 cup red onion, cut into small dice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1 cup jasmine rice

1 1/2 cups chicken stock

1/2 cup fresh mango, cut into small dice

1/2 cup white pineapple, cut into small dice

1 tablespoon parsley leaves, chopped fine

Melt butter over low heat in a medium saucepan; add onion and saute until softened, about 3 minutes. Add salt, pepper and rice; stir to coat rice. Add chicken stock; bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover. Cook until rice has absorbed all liquid, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, then stir in mango, white pineapple and parsley.

Individual mango sorbets

A great way to taste all the goodness of fresh mango in season. And with only 3 ingredients, this is almost too easy; makes 6 cups.

4 ripe mangoes (about 3 1/2 pounds)

1 cup simple syrup (recipe follows)

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or to taste

Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap; set aside. Wash and dry mangoes. With a sharp knife, remove the 2 flat sides of each mango, cutting lengthwise alongside pit and cutting as close to pit as possible so that flesh is in 2 large pieces. With a spoon, carefully scoop flesh from mango sides into a blender, leaving shells intact. With a knife, cut remaining flesh from pits and add to blender. Add syrup and lime juice; puree until smooth. Put mango shells on baking sheet; freeze while making sorbet.

Freeze mango puree in an ice cream maker. Scoop sorbet into frozen shells, mounding slightly, and smooth surfaces. Freeze filled mango shells at least 6 hours, until frozen hard. Sorbets may be wrapped individually in plastic wrap and kept in freezer up to 1 week.

To make simple syrup:

3 cups water

3 cups sugar

Combine water and sugar in a saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring. Boil until sugar is completely dissolved. Cool. Simple syrup can be made up to a week in advance. Store, covered, in refrigerator.

Mango salsa

This recipe comes from the famous Mama’s Fish House on Maui. Try with coconut sauteed fish, with fried fish or enjoy as a snack with tortilla chips. Makes enough for 4 servings.

3 mangoes (1 1/2 cups), minced

2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

4 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon sweet Chinese chili sauce

4 green onions, sliced thin

Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to use.