~ My Sweet 'n Spicy, Summer Tropical Fruit Salsa ~
If you're looking for a change of pace to spice up your Summer menu, my tropical fruit salsa is your answer. While I love it served atop grilled white fish (like grouper and sea bass) on a bed of steamed jasmine rice, it is delicious on cheesy Tex-Mex nachos and chicken quesadillas. That said, it pairs equally as well with Thai-Asian fare like my ~ Crunchy Thai-Style Deep-Fried Coconut Shrimp ~ as an appetizer (recipe found in Categories 1, 11, 13 & 14), and, my East-meets-West fusion main course ~ Thai Turkey Patties & Rice w/Creamy Coconut Sauce ~.
Newsflash -- Salsa has never been "all about" tomatoes!
This is my favorite combination of fruits because when mixed together they keep, refrigerated, 4-5 days!
12-16 ounces diced fresh pineapple (1 large ripe pineapple)
12-16 ounces diced mango (2 large, ripe mangos)
1-1 1/2 pounds diced papaya (1 large "Caribbean Red" papaya)
1- 1 1/2 cups diced red onion
2-3 minced jalapeno peppers w/seeds, more or less, to taste
1 cup minced, fresh cilantro leaves, no stems included
2 limes, all juice and all zest
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Using a large chef's knife, remove the top and bottom from the pineapple. Slice down the sides to remove the tough skin. After that, using the sharp tip of a paring knife, be sure to remove all of the tough, brown, unappetizing nubbly spots. Slice the pineapple into 1/2"-3/4" slices and dice the slices into bite-sized 1/2"-3/4" pieces. That said, if you want to buy a whole fresh pineapple at your market that has been conveniently pre-peeled and cored, you have my blessing!
~ Step 2. Peel, slice and dice the mangos. I am here to tell you, if you don't have a mango splitter, this is a nifty inexpensive little gadget that makes short work of splitting a peeled mango, easily removing its odd-shaped large pit. While I like my pineapple slicer, I love my mango splitter and I recommend investing in one ($12.00). Once the mango has been peeled and the fruit removed from the large pit, slice the mango into 1/2"-3/4" strips and dice the strips into bite-sized 1/2"-3/4" pieces.
~ Step 3. In the above photo of the ingredients, please notice how much yellow color the skin of papaya has. That is how you can tell how ripe it is. All green = not ripe. Half green/half yellow = ripe.
Using a large chef's knife, slice the papaya in half. Using a tablespoon, scrape out and discard the seeds. Slice the halves into 1/2"-3/4" strips. Peel the strips and dice the fruit into bite-sized 1/2"-3/4" pieces.
~ Step 4. As you dice each fruit, place them all together in a large mixing bowl as you work. Dice the red onions and mince the jalapeno peppers and cilantro leaves, adding them to the bowl. Zest the limes adding the zest to the bowl along with all of its juice and the sea salt.
Note: This recipe isn't so much about adding these exact fruits, but, a combination of any or all of them, if they are perfectly ripe. If you can't find one, double up on another. I've added fresh strawberries to this salsa and everyone adored it!
~ Step 5. Using a large rubber spatula, thoroughly combine all ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 6-8 hours or overnight. Overnight is best, as it gives all of the flavors time to marry.
If you have the time, give the salsa a thorough stir two or three times during the refrigeration time. Remove the salsa just prior to serving or within 10-15 minutes of serving as, it is truly best when served chilled atop a hot entree.
Thai Turkey Patties & Steamed Rice w/Creamy Cilantro Sauce:
Special Equipment List: cutting board; chef's knife; paring knife; pineapple slicer (optional); mango splitter (optional); tablespoon; large rubber spatula; plastic wrap
Cook's Note: If you love the bold, spicy flavors of Tex-Mex cuisine and/or Thai Asian fare, I'm certain you'll find all sorts of uses for this salsa in your Summer repertoire. For example, click on the Related Article link below to get the recipe for ~ My Moist, Juicy, Grilled Thai-Style Turkey Burgers ~.
"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti
(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2015)