Exotic salsa – crunchy veggies, juicy tropical fruits, and exotic perfume of kaffir limes, guava, fresh mint and cilantro – this salsa is super flavorful and delicious, and a great accompaniment for grilled seafood.
Hello my friends,
I’ve been definitely missing from this space a lot lately. Between kitchen remodel planning, school graduations, and events, and a road trip to Alaska, things quickly got out of hand, and there wasn’t enough time to squeeze in even the quickest meal, worthy of your attention, let alone photograph it, and blog about it. Cooking has taken a backseat in my life right now, which to some extent makes sense – who really feels like cooking in a 100 degree weather, especially when you can just munch on cherries, or nectarines all day. Not to mention, the lack of oven continues to be an exasperation, and definitely dampens my creative endeavors in the kitchen. These days, I think only in terms of a quick bbq, and a side dish that can either be grilled, or cooked on the stove top. I cannot bake, or roast, so that means a lot of favorite summer dishes are out of the question.
More than anything else though, I’m being so distracted and absorbed by this kitchen remodeling project. The actual work has not even started, and I’m already exhausted by the task of choosing our cabinets. It’s no small task, it turns out. The endless research, and the tireless Pinterest and Houzz.com browsing for ideas, the constant change of mind from one extreme to the other, and in between…we’ve been paralyzed by the gazillion choices we have, and the risk of buying something we cannot even see and touch. It requires active imagination, and creative thinking to take a small sample piece of wood and somehow project it into the whole kitchen, and imagine how all cabinets will look. Not to mention the rest of the puzzle pieces like backsplash, countertops, floors etc. And it’s not like we can buy the cabinets, install them, and return them if we don’t like the look.
Anyhow, this latest recipe, is a quick fix for a hot summer weather, perfect for the heat wave that’s gripped the West right now. It’s an exotic salsa that tastes like the Tropics, and is insanely aromatic, slightly sweet, juicy and so delicious I had it for lunch on its own a few times. It’s also the perfect side dish to serve with grilled fish, or other seafood.
The inspiration for this salsa came from the enticing aroma of kaffir lime leaves. A few months ago, we enjoyed a 10-course tasting menu at Commis, a local fine dining spot, and one of the dishes stood out with its intriguing smell and not quite familiar taste. It was a shellfish appetizer scented with kaffir lime. I do not have a kaffir lime tree but I found fresh kaffir lime leaves online, and ordered a bag. They came fresh and fragrant, and since a little goes a long way, I froze the rest. It turns out, freezing doesn’t affect the aroma, so they are perfectly fine to cook with. I’ve made a kaffir lime-infused vodka with them, and used them in this coconut kaffir lime smoothie. Something about their fragrance just makes me want to experiment and create recipes to capture their exotic essence.
A simple dressing made of pureed guavas and lime juice is all it needs to boost the flavors even further. The toasted coconut chips are optional, but I think they add another crunchy element and flavor.
Exotic salsa - crunchy veggies, juicy tropical fruits, and exotic perfume of kaffir limes, guava, fresh mint and cilantro - this salsa is super flavorful and delicious, and a great accompaniment for grilled seafood.
- 2 Persian cucumbers
- 1 mango
- 1 cup jicama, chopped
- 1 avocado
- 1/2 jalapeno pepper, sliced thinly
- 1/4 red onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 5-6 kaffir lime leaves, sliced thinly *
- 1/4 cup toasted coconut chips (optional)
- 1/2 cup lime juice
- 4-5 small guavas
In a blender, place the guavas, and the lime juice and blend until smooth (the guavas tough seeds may take more time)
Chop the cucumbers, mango, jicama and avocado into bite-size pieces.
Roll the kaffir lime leaves together tightly, and slice very thinly. Slice the jalapeno into thin rounds, and the red onion into a fine dice.
Mix everything together with the dressing, add the fresh chopped mint and cilantro, and the toasted coconut chips, if using.