OOOOh, that is red salsa, isn’t it? It’s the raspberries.
I must say I would have never thought to make a spicy salsa using raspberries rather than tomatoes. But when I was in New Orleans for the annual conference for the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) I actually tasted this kind of salsa.
Each year at the conference, one afternoon is dedicated to a Culinary Showcase. It’s a foodie’s dream world. It offers a unique opportunity to sample food products and discover new technology, merchandise and services available from corporate, small business and cooking school members of the Association.
It was easy to make my trip down the aisles my dinner for that evening. Tastes of pork, shrimp, beef and chicken all prepared to perfection. New yogurts. Beignets with little bits of Washington apples tucked inside, chocolates, stewed peppers on crostini made with Pompeian olive oil, Tabasco Bloody Mary’s — and this is only a small fraction of what was available.
Driscoll’s was there with lots of their plump, fresh berries to sample. And this is where I came upon the raspberry salsa.
It tastes fresh, with a little heat. The raspberry flavor does not stand out, but gives the salsa body. The recipe for Driscoll’s Raspberry-Cilantro Salsa that I tasted that afternoon is on their web site.
I’ve adapted the recipe just a bit. For one thing, I had to use frozen raspberries. I thawed and drained the juices from the berries before gently mixing them with the remaining ingredients. If you can get fresh berries, splurge. You’ll get the most fresh and flavorful salsa. I won’t be making this salsa again until I can buy plump, fresh, fragile raspberries from my local farmer’s market.
Allow the salsa at least an hour in the refrigerator before serving. That resting time gives the flavorful ingredients time to bloom and blend.
A spicy and deliciously different salsa with no tomatoes, but still so red. Oh, those raspberries.
If you’re planning a Cinco de Mayo celebration, your guests can nibble on chips and Raspberry Salsa as they sip margaritas. But be sure they save room for South-of-the-Border Chicken Kabobs and Rice.
- 18 ounces fresh raspberries or frozen whole raspberries, thawed, drained of juice
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
- 2 fat cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Pinch of chile powder
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Combine all ingredients. Mash slightly with a potato masher or a wooden spoon. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour before serving. At serving time, stir the salsa, season to taste and serve with tortilla chips.