Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Tropical Dinner Part 3: Mango Papaya Salsa

The idea for this fruit salsa came to me along with that for the macadamia-crusted marinated tofu, as a similar fruit salsa was the accompaniment for the crusted yellowtail that was the inspiration for the tofu recipe. I just happened to have mangos and a papaya sitting in my fridge last week, so I decided that I would invite both of them to the party.
This salsa totally exceeded my expectations – it’s perfectly sweet, tart, savory, bright, and spicy all at once. You’ll have more than you need for the 4 servings that the rest of menu calls for, which is a good thing, because you’ll want to just eat it straight out of the bowl – it’s really that good!

[I was going to write a little diatribe on salsa and its many modern incarnations, but Mark Bittman (aka The Minimalist) beat me to it this morning. Since he gets paid to write about food, I'll leave this one to him. And it turns out that he, too, likes a papaya-based salsa - although, of course, I think mine is better.]

Mango Papaya Salsa
(serves 6 as a side dish)

1 large red bell pepper, cut into ¼” pieces (about 2 cups)
1 ½ large ripe mangos, cut into ½” chunks (about 3 cups)
1 large papaya (about 1 pound), cut into ½” chunks (about 3 cups)
1 large handful cilantro leaves, chopped (about ½ cup)
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 small green chili or ½ jalapeno pepper, seeds and ribs removed and finely diced – add to taste
Juice of ½ lime
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar


Combine ingredients in a large non-reactive bowl and let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.

(The salsa can be made ahead and refrigerated; bring to room temperature before serving.)


Jon said...

I like how he describes the parts of the salsa almost like the "notes" of a perfume--the head note, heart note, and base note of the salsa. It's so true!

Eggplant Recipes said...

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jordan bailey said...

I make a slightly different version of mango papaya salsa: Mango, papaya, red onion, serrano peppers, fresh oregano, and lime juice. I don't put it on anything, I just eat it straight like fruit salad. I've also thrown some cranberries in the food processor and then added them, and it gives it an extra tartness. It's addictive and incredibly healthy. Plus it's pretty to look at!

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