In the words of Monty Python, those comedic greats: “And now for something completely different!” I want to share a recipe. This is something I created myself, with no input from anywhere else, other than the working knowledge of salsa ingredients I have gathered over the years. Two things set this salsa apart from what you can buy on the shelf. First, it’s fresh. That may mean that it won’t last as long, but making your own salsa is an incredibly satisfying and triumphant experience, only matched (I am assuming) by witnessing the birth of your first-born child. If you’ve never made your own salsa, this may be the time to start.
Second, this particular recipe uses an ingredient you won’t find in many, if any, jars at your grocery store. Specifically, my Red Dragon Salsa calls for pitaya, or, as it is more commonly known here in the states, dragon fruit. Dragon fruit is native to Taiwan and the surrounding locales, but it tends to pop up in larger groceries around this time of year. This particular fruit generally features a vibrant pink and green skin, which serves as an interesting contrast to the pale white flesh found on the inside. As with kiwi, the dragon fruit is dotted with small black seeds, and the flesh has a similar texture to that of the fuzzy brown fruit.
But enough about that. This is Eat More Heat, not Eat More Fruit. Let’s look at the ingredients.
Two medium tomatoes, one dragon fruit, one medium mango, two cloves of garlic, one small onion, bell peppers, any sort of spicy pepper, lemon juice, lime juice, ground peppercorn, other herbs and spices
Our more astute readers will notice that I did not provide specific amounts for some of the ingredients. For me, cooking is an art, not a science, and decisions like ratios and measurements should be left up to the artist. Really, it’s all to taste. The above ingredients are the basics; feel free to play around with it. When I made this, I only had Anaheim and Poblano peppers lying around, so that’s what I tossed in there. I used about five each. You can roast the ingredients as you see fit, but my salsa turned out well enough using only the power of a modern-day blender. I also made generous use of the Hot to Trot chile seasonings I reviewed a couple of weeks ago; though lacking in spiciness, those blends have the citrus flavors I wanted to round out this salsa. I really wish I had kept some super hot peppers to use for this salsa, but no worries.
Chop everything up and throw into a blender. It’s pretty simple. I didn’t add any water, as the lemon and lime juices tend to add enough liquid to get the blending process started. Eventually, you will wind up with a thick red mixture, probably with bits of pepper floating around. If the salsa turns out too thin, consider adding more tomatoes and peppers of whatever variety until the desired viscosity is achieved.
I’m pretty sure that any reader of this site knows what to eat with salsa. I will tell you this, though: dragon fruit has a fairly mild taste, so it isn’t so fruity that it can’t work with certain dishes. For the past three nights, I have been eating it with taco salad (made with ground beef, Spanish rice, and Hatch chile pepper queso), and it has been fantastic. The mango doesn’t get in the way, either, and only serves to enhance the flavor of the salsa.
Feel free to experiment with this recipe by using whatever other ingredients or cooking methods you prefer. Just know that it is very easy to make a large batch of salsa. Then again, if your friends or coworkers are anything like mine, they won’t mind if you share.