To all of my Irish and “Irish-for-a-day” friends out there, Happy St. Patrick’s Day!! Although there isn’t much green peeking through in our lawns just yet, it is certainly showing up everywhere else this week: green clothes, green decorations, and of course, green food and drink! So, to keep in line with the color theme of this fun and festive holiday, let me present to you… Sweet & Spicy Kiwi Salsa! St. Patty’s Day simply isn’t complete without some green goodies on the table, but my dilemma was that I didn’t want to rely on food dye to do the trick. Instead, I decided to combine some of my favorite naturally green fruits and vegetables to create a unique, fresh salsa. And let me tell you, the results were magically delicious! Here’s the all-star lineup of green produce items that are featured in this recipe:
- Kiwifruit- In addition to being scrumptiously sweet, kiwifruit are loaded with nutrients, including fiber, vitamins C and E, and antioxidants. Did you know that a serving of kiwi contains more potassium than a banana?!
- Jalapeño pepper- The crunchy texture and heat of jalapeño adds a nice contrast to the sweet and juicy kiwi in this recipe. Plus, they’re loaded with vitamins A and C too!
- Cilantro- Bright green and loaded with fresh flavor, cilantro is an antioxidant-containing herb that is always welcome in any salsa, including this one!
- Lime- An excellent source of vitamin C, limes are a have a little more sugar and citric acid than their sour yellow cousins J. If you want some extra zip in your salsa, add a bit of lime zest into the mix!
This salsa is incredibly simple. All you have to do is cut up the fruit and veggies, toss with lime juice, and season to taste with salt and pepper. So, let’s get chopping! We’ll start with the jalapeño since it requires a little more TLC than some of the other ingredients. As you know, jalapeño peppers are hot! So, we’re actually going to “seed” the pepper, or remove the inner membranes and seeds where a lot of the heat lives. To do this, cut the stem off of the top of the jalapeño and then slice it in half lengthwise. Next use a knife to cut out the insides (or use a spoon to gently scrape them out). Then slice the pepper into thin strips and finely dice them up. Be sure to wash your hands really well after handling the jalapeño so you get all the pepper oils off of your fingers… otherwise you might get an unwelcome, hot surprise when you accidentally touch your eye or lick your finger while eating your salsa!
Cilantro comes next! I always used to hate chopping up cilantro until I figured out the way that works best for me. I start by removing any large, tough stems. Then I roll the cilantro up and run my knife through the rolled-up herbs. For a finer chop, simply rock your knife back and forth across the cilantro.
Next comes the star of our salsa: the kiwi! Although the fuzzy skin on kiwi is edible (and actually very nutritious!), we’re going to remove it to keep the salsa nice and green J. Peel and chop up the kiwifruit. For an extra little pop of color and flavor, finely dice some red onion, and then add all your chopped ingredients to a bowl. Gently toss everything together with some freshly squeezed lime juice and salt and pepper to taste (I used 1/8 teaspoon of salt and a dash of pepper). That’s it!
The flavors in this salsa are awesome! The sweet, juicy kiwi with the hot jalapeño is a killer combo you’ll love! Serve this Sweet & Spicy Kiwi Salsa with whole grain tortilla chips as an appetizer, or use it as a topping for grilled fish. I served it on top of grilled salmon, and the flavor combination was fabulous! Hopefully you enjoy this naturally green and incredibly delicious salsa as well. Sláinte! (For those “Irish-for-a-day” friends, that means cheers J !)
Sweet & Spicy Kiwi Salsa
- 8 ripe kiwi, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped (use 2 if you like it really spicy!)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Add all ingredients to a medium bowl and toss gently to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with tortilla chips or as a topping for grilled fish.
Yield: 6 servings Per Serving*: Calories 60, Total Fat 0.5g (Saturated 0g, Trans 0g), Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 55mg, Total Carbohydrate 15g (Dietary Fiber 3g, Sugars 9g), Protein 1g, Vitamin A 4%, Vitamin C 150%, Calcium 4%, Iron 2% *Nutritional values are an approximation. Actual nutritional values may vary due to preparation techniques, variations related to suppliers, regional and seasonal differences, or rounding.Leah Anderson is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with Festival Foods and is certified by the state of WI.