Friday, July 8, 2011

Pineapple Mango Salsa

It's summer, it's hot, and no one wants to turn on the oven.
(Well, maybe people with central air, but they don't really experience summer.)
This is an incredibly tasty mix of bright and zippy flavors, delicious on its own, but also great over cooked meats.

Ingredients: 1 pineapple, 4 ripe champagne mangos*, 1 large jalapeño pepper, 1 medium shallot, and about 1/4 cup of fresh lime juice.
Try to chop the pineapple and mangos into the same size pieces, and give the jalapeño and shallot a fine dice. This will be time consuming but worth it in the end.

*If you cannot find champagne mangos, 3-4 regular ripe mangos will do just fine. I just used champagne mangos because there was a special on them! However, they taste just like the usual green and pink skinned mangos but they have a thinner skin and a slightly less fibrous flesh.

If you have never carved up a mango before, this is the best way that I have found.
First slice down either side of the pit, as close as you can get to the pit without hitting it.
Next, make a grid with your knife through the flesh of the mango halves in whatever size you want your finished dice to be, and be sure to go all the way to the skin but not piercing it.

Then you invert the mango half and carefully run your knife between the skin and the (very slippery) orange flesh. (Feel free to use your teeth to eat any remaining layer of mango on the skin when no one is looking!)
You should now have lovely little cubes of mango ready to eat.

While I was dicing all the pineapple and mangos, I let the finely diced shallot mellow in the fresh lime juice. Just as you might use vinegar to mellow raw onion or shallot in a salad dressing, the acid in the lime juice takes some of the bite out of it here.

About half way thru the "mellowing" process I added the (seeded) and diced jalapeno with a pinch or two of salt and gave it a stir.

Put everything in a large bowl and toss to combine.

This salsa will taste better if given some time to meld, and for the acids in the lime juice and pineapple to break everything down a little bit.
It should be sweet and tangy, with just a little bit of heat from the jalapeño. 
(Again, I only like a mild level of heat in my food, so adjust to your own tastes.)
A delicious summer treat!

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