Published July 1, 2005.
Mushy and bland or just plain weird, most fruit salsas miss the mark. So how do you make a simple one with clear, refreshing flavor?
Too many fruit salsas are just bowlfuls of mushy fruit awash in a watery slurry, with an unbalanced, overly harsh, or saccharine flavor.
We wanted our salsa to have one dominant fruit flavor, supported by a judicious selection of seasonings.
The first step was to determine which fruits worked best as a foundation--mango, pineapple, nectarine, and melon won. We found that the fruit needed to be both very ripe and cut into a tiny, tidy dice. We also needed an acid to boost the fruit's tartness and tone down sweetness; 1 tablespoon or less of lime juice per cup of fruit worked well without being too harsh. We rejected onion for its harsh, dominating flavor but liked the milder-tasting shallot, finely minced. Finally, we added a second, complementary vegetable or fruit for more flavor dimension, then allowed each salsa to sit for half an hour to let the flavors fully develop.list of recipes