Pineapple & Cucumber Salsa
The 4th of July is just around the corner folks! I feel like once the 4th is over, summer flies by so fast and before you know it we’re shopping for school clothes and gearing up for fall sports. June passes by at a normal pace and come July and August, time moves at warp speed, what’s that all about? Lucky for us, the 4th is one of those rare holidays that seems made for lazy days outside, hanging out at the lake, by the pool, or in your backyard with a sprinkler. A fun drink and snacks are all you need!
The downside of cutting wheat and dairy from my diet is that it really eliminates a large chunk of appetizer and snack options. As we all know, the best appetizers include warm, gooey cheese and/or bread, preferably both. Sure there are options out there, like marinated vegetables or antipasta kebobs, or something else along those lines. But sometimes what you need is something that you can throw in a bowl with a basket of dippers and be done and if that is your goal, then salsa is where it’s at. And that is exactly why salsa is the answer to my snacking and appetizer conundrum. I make it for everything, all of the time, all year round.
Do you remember when I posted this applesauce recipe and talked about how applesauce should be fun? Maybe I said special. Either way, my point was that you should consider adding something extra to it so it’s not just plain old applesauce. There is an argument to be made that if you have an interesting mix of apples, then even plain applesauce is far from boring. Salsa is very much like that. When you have the most amazing vine-ripened summer tomatoes, you don’t need anything extra in your salsa because the flavor of the tomatoes alone can carry the few other ingredients and result in something delicious. However, when it’s winter or you’re stuck in the late spring/early summer vortex where the very best tomatoes just aren’t widely available yet, substituting other ingredients for the tomatoes entirely works really well to make a delicious salsa without any sad, watery, grocery store tomatoes.
In this version, we have a mix of pineapple, cucumber, jalapeno, and…guess, can you guess what else? Of course! Pickled onions! All hail the pickled onion which I now put in everything. If, perchance you don’t have time to pickle some onions ahead of time you could put in some shallots instead, which have a flavor that is more mild than a raw onion. I’d start with 1/4 cup of shallots. Shallots are purple and look like a cross between an onion and a bulb of garlic. The sweet pineapple and cool cucumber is a good balance to the heat of the jalapeño. Add some lime and cilantro and you’re done – salsa that is as equally welcome for snacking on the weekend after a day of yardwork as it is at a holiday picnic. All that’s needed is a cocktail! If you have some salsa leftover after you run out of chips, put a couple of scoops on top of some grilled chicken or fish.
- 2 cups diced cucumber
- 3 cups diced pineapple
- 1/2 finely diced jalapeno (or use the whole thing if you like it spicier!)
- 1/2 cup chopped pickled onions (or 1/4 cup diced shallots)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
- zest and juice of one lime
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- Combine all ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours before eating.
- Serve with tortilla chips. Scoop leftovers on top of grilled chicken or fish.
- Makes approximately 4 cups. Keeps for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.