Sunday, May 3, 2015

Pineapple-Mango Salsa

When you don't like tomatoes, ordering at the average Mexican restaurant will invariably be a struggle. Most of the menu items involve the seemingly ubiquitous nightshade in one capacity or another. Even worse, unless I want to shell out extra money (and calories) for guacamole or queso when the chips and salsa are delivered, I have to eat my tortilla chips dry.

That's what I love about eating at home: I can account for my own likes and dislikes when menu planning and cooking. Though I rarely like to eat out for Mexican, it's a favorite of mine to cook. With Cinco de Mayo around the corner, I wanted to make carnitas, my favorite filling for street tacos. Since pico de gallo was out of the question as a garnish, I thought a fresh fruit salsa would pair excellently with the savory shredded pork. I just couldn't decide on the fruit-- mango or pineapple?

So I didn't. I simply used both.

After chopping and stirring together the ingredients, I needed to taste it, to make sure the proportions worked. It was too sweet, so I added onion and took another sample.

And then another.

And another.

I couldn't stop. The combination of sweet, juicy pineapple and luscious mango was balanced with the bite of onion and garlic while the lime brought it all together with its acidic zing. The pleasant heat of the jalapeno lingered on my tongue long after the other flavors faded away. I was hooked.

Though the carnitas were quite tasty, I found their delicate flavor was overpowered by this pineapple-mango salsa. I enjoyed the majority of the salsa as a snack with tortilla chips, but I can't wait to try it with grilled shrimp or chicken.

Pineapple-Mango Salsa
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

Cilantro is traditional in many fruit salsas, but since I belong to the part of the population that tastes soap when I eat cilantro, I don't use it. If you are a fan of it, by all means, add it! 2-3 tablespoons should work nicely.

Yield: scant 2 cups

Total Time: 15 minutes

1 cup fresh pineapple, diced
1/2 cup fresh mango, diced
2-4 tablespoons onion, minced finely
3 garlic cloves, minced finely
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced finely
Zest and juice of 1 lime
Pinch of sea salt, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Taste and make any adjustments according to your tastes. For best flavor, prepare the salsa at least 30 minutes ahead of time to allow the flavors to marry.

Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days in the fridge.

Notes: Serve with tortilla chips for a great appetizer or as an accompaniment for grilled fish, chicken, pork, or shrimp.

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