Cleaning out the freezer recently, I discovered a bag of fresh cranberries that I had been hoarding since last Thanksgiving. Cranberries freeze beautifully for months, so I didn’t hesitate to think about what I could make with them. I love cranberries, but the season is so short that I almost always freeze several bags of them when I can buy them fresh.
I’ve been growing bored with my diet of grilled meat, fish and chicken and wanted to liven up our weekly menus a bit. When I discovered a torn-out page from an old Gourmet for a cranberry-pineapple salsa, I pulled out my cranberries to thaw and ran out for a pineapple and some cilantro. Fresh fruit salsa can add so much to a simple entrée without adding a ton of calories.
I used our fresh Meyer lemons and navel oranges from the garden, instead of the Seville orange and lime juice called for in the original recipe. I thought red onion would provide a softer taste than a yellow or white onion. Just for fun, I threw in a handful of chopped, crystallized ginger for some heat.
When I saw how red the roasted pineapple was turning as it mixed with the cranberries, I pulled some pineapple aside to add just before tasting. After I tasted the finished salsa, cooled and ready for its close-up, I sprinkled it with a little Maldon sea salt, my favorite large-flaked salt, just to finish the dish.
This salsa will last about a week in the fridge, although the cilantro begins to droop pretty quickly. I would suggest adding more fresh cilantro every time you serve the salsa.
TIP: I always buy “Golden” pineapples and frequently ask the friendly fellows in the produce department to pick out a ripe one for me.
- 1 pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into ½-inch pieces
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 12-ounce bag of fresh (or thawed) cranberries
- ⅓ cup lightly packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup chopped crystallized ginger
- 2 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice, or any fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 1 cup cilantro sprigs, tightly packed
- large-flaked sea salt (optional garnish)
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Toss the pineapple and onion with oil and salt. Spread on a sided sheet pan. Roast 30 minutes, stirring once or twice during the cooking, until the pineapple has slightly browned in spots.
- While the pineapple and onion are roasting, pulse the cranberries in a processor until coarsely chopped. Turn into a large bowl and stir in the brown sugar.
- Save about a cup of the roasted pineapple to add just before serving.
- Add the rest of the hot pineapple-onion, chopped ginger, lemon juice and orange juice. Stir well.
- Allow salsa to cool before adding cilantro. Let the salsa stand at room temperature for an hour or so before serving.