I love to have fruit around the house, but sometimes I end up with too much fruit to keep up with. Between farmers market season, CSA boxes, and impulse shopping at grocery stores, it’s easy for a vegan like me to wind up with a lot of fruit, which means having a lot of the same fruits around at different stages of ripeness.
It also happens with our produce inventory at The Chopping Block. If you’ve taken any of our classes, you know you get a welcome appetizer, or “chef app,” at the beginning of class. Recently I was working our Grilling Fiesta class, and I saw we had a large (and I mean large!) box of peaches, which all were at vastly different stages of ripening. Some were too hard to eat, some were too soft to cook with, and some were too soft to eat without embarrassing yourself. Since this class featured a lot of spicy chiles and fresh herbs, I thought salsa!
When you have fruits with different degrees of ripeness, salsa is great because you get different flavors and textures. Your under ripe fruits give you a nice bite, whereas your overripe fruits have more developed sugars, which add a nice complex sweetness. They also produce more juice, which allows the other flavors you add to meld. I’ve also done this with mangoes, pineapples, and even strawberries. You could, of course, do this with a combination of fruits.
This is my go-to recipe for fruit salsas, and the fruits can be interchangeable.
- ¼ cup lime juice, plus more if needed
- 1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, finely minced (remove the seeds if you want a more mild salsa)
- 1 cup cold water
- 1 red onion, finely diced
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and minced
- 4-5 cups diced fruit of your choice (peaches, pineapples, mangoes are my 3 favorites, but anything you like will work beautifully)
- 3 tbsp cilantro, rough chopped,
- 2 tbsp mint, rough chopped
- Salt, and pepper, to taste
In a large bowl, place your lime juice and minced jalapeno or serrano. Set aside for 20 minutes. Tip: this is one of my secrets I use for getting the spice from the pepper throughout the salsa.
In another bowl, place the cold water and the diced red onion, and set that aside for 20 minutes. Tip: this is another one of my secrets for removing some of that harsh flavor from the red onion. If you like the bite from red onion, you can skip this step. After 20 minutes, drain the onion and add it to the lime and jalapeno mix.
In the large bowl, add the remaining ingredients. Stir, and let the salsa set for at least half an hour. You will see the salsa get a little more liquidy. Use that time to stir to get everything coated throughout.
Hopefully you don’t have the problem I have of overbuying fruit, but if you do, try making salsa! I would love to hear what you do with the large quantities of fruit you have at home in the comments section.