Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Opinions from the Kitchen: Summer Fruit Salsa

Until recently, when I thought of salsa, there were always tomatoes involved. This summer I discovered  fruit salsa, and I'm not sure I could ever go back. Over the past two months I've gone a little crazy and tried pineapple, mango, mango strawberry, mango peach, and pineapple mango. They were all delicious, and had no problem holding up to pork, chicken and seafood in an enchilada.

The main salsa ingredients are the same for any fruit, and for a great starter recipe I recommend referring to this one from The Pioneer Woman Cooks. The best advice I can give to someone trying this for the first time is to make sure your fruit are ripe enough to be sweet. A salsa made from under-ripe ingredients won't have much flavour.

Once you've made this and become a confirmed addict, you may get the urge to try a few modifications. These are my favourites so far.

Pineapple and Red Pepper Salsa

This version uses a pineapple and a sweet red bell pepper. I increased the amount of lime juice, and used a habañero pepper for heat.

The little orange habañero packs more flavour and heat into a smaller pepper and I prefer it to the jalapeño when used with fruit.

I also added 4-5 cloves of finely chopped garlic. Don't be afraid to throw garlic in with the fruit, it will add a lot of depth once the flavours have blended.

Pineapple Mango Salsa with Avocado

Are you serving this to a large crowd, some of whom may not like too much spice?

One solution is to throw in a chopped avocado. You still get the flavour from the peppers, but the richness of the avocado will tone down the heat quite a bit.

In this one, I combined half a green bell pepper, one habañero pepper, and a pinch of dried crushed red chilies. And, of course, some garlic.

Once you've made this a few times you will notice that there's quite a difference in taste between the jalapeño, the habañero and the red chili pepper. Try them in different combinations to figure out which of their subtle flavours most suits you. These salsas are fat free and contain no processed sugars, so enjoy testing the recipe with as many fruit as you like. For a healthy alternative to corn chips, I would recommend brushing some points of pita bread with lime juice, sprinkling them with kosher salt, and toasting them briefly in the oven until they crisps up like chips. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Oh my, this looks so yummy! I have to try both of these recipes. Following along from the SYTYC party. :)