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A FRESH Point of View: Fresh and Fruity Salsas

The idea of pairing fruity flavors with savory ingredients is hardly new. Think of classic pairings like pears with blue cheese, or apples with pork.

But especially for summer, a fresher way to bring fruit to the main course is with a fruit salsa. Fresh, bright, and as spicy as you want them to be, fruit salsas go especially well with fish, lobster, shrimp, pork or chicken.  They’re a healthy alternative to heavier, cream- or oil-based sauces, and a nice change of pace from the typical tomato-heavy pico de gallo.

At FRESH, our chefs prepare a fresh mango salsa, available in the cut fruit section of Produce.  Prepared versions with such ingredients as peach or pineapple are also available in our salsa aisles in the grocery section.

But making your own fruit salsa isn’t difficult.

  • Fruit salsas need a hit of fire, salt, acid and, preferably, fresh herbs, such as cilantro or mint. (Otherwise, you’re looking at a fruit salad).
  • Almost any fruit can work in a salsa, but classic choices include mangos, pineapple, papaya and peaches.
  • Select for visual appeal and texture as well as taste. Mix mango with red onion and green cilantro for a colorful salsa, or add crunchy jicama or crisp cucumber  for a better texture contrast.
  • Avoid using the food processor when preparing the fruits. Because most fruits have a high water content, they’ll get too mushy if you try to save time by dicing in the processor. Hand-chop fruits for best results, and a chunkier texture that’s more like a pico de gallo.
  • A simple rule to concoct your own fruit salsa: Choose two or three fruits; two spicy ingredients (onions and jalapenos are good basic choices); and one acidic ingredient to tie it all together. (Usually, this is lime juice, but it can be lemon juice, orange juice, or even vinegar.)

Here’s an easy mango salsa to get you started; great over grilled fish!

Mango Salsa
1 mango, peeled, seed removed, and diced
1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
1 green onion, sliced fine
2 Tbs cilantro, chopped roughly
1 fresh jalapeño, finely chopped
2 Tbs fresh lime juice
Kosher salt, to taste

In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Add salt to taste. Chill at least two hours. Before serving, taste again; add additional salt and lime juice if desired.

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