Spicy and sweet is basically my favorite flavor combination. I really can’t get enough spice on things; peppers, hot sauce, spices, rubs, I love it ALL. Except, there was this one time where I maybe went a little…overboard.
My dad and I have been roasting our own hot peppers since I can remember. Probably for at least 12 years now, but who’s counting. We generally like a mix of jalapeños, long hots, sweet bell peppers, and maybe a poblano or two. There’s no rhyme or reason, really.
One fine day, we walked into the grocery and saw the most BEAUTIFUL, tiny red peppers. “What is a habanero?” we thought. Naturally, we took them home to cook up with the rest of the peppers. If you’ve never encountered a habanero before, please consider yourself lucky and heed my advice when I tell you not to eat them whole. If you have, go ahead and laugh away because you know what’s happening next.
Our first clue to their deadliness should have been the amount of eye burning smoke the pan was letting off as we cooked. Like the two daredevils we are, we proceeded to each pop one whole in our mouths atop a crostini. Folks – that thing actually burnt the outside of my mouth. My lips were seared and bright red, we were seeping tears and sweat and I think we downed a gallon of milk in an afternoon.
Moral of the story…I won’t be putting habaneros in our salsa today…but you can be sure there will be jalapenos and some serious, sweet heat.
I’m all about a juxtaposition with my food. If it’s smooth and creamy, I have to have a crunchy (hello, avocado toast), and I can’t each something rich without having a bright and fresh side.
This Spicy Basil Fruit Salsa somehow brings all of my favorite components together into one singular bite. It’s sweet, spicy, bright, and when nestled into a little tortilla chip, oh so crunchy.
Start by chopping up your red onion, I like mine really finely diced so it isn’t overpowering. Add your lime juice, which will actually cook the onion a little and take a lot of that pungent flavor away. While that sits for about 20-30 mins, chop up the rest of your vegetables & fruits. You can roll your basil and chop it horizontally to julienne, and then give a few rough chops to break it to smaller pieces. I really recommend fresh basil for this one.
Always cut your jalapeno last and I wear gloves when cutting mine because I wear contacts. Yeah, that was another one of my hot pepper debacles. Jalapeno juice in the eyeball.
I digress; add your fruits & veggies to the bowl with the onion and lime juice. Measure in the spices & basil and mix on up.
I like to let this sit a while before serving to let the flavors meld, say 30 mins or so, but you can dig in right away if you please! Best served with a side o’ tortilla chippies.
- 1 mango – cubed
- 1 1/2 cup of strawberries – chopped
- 1 yellow pepper (any color really, I just like to be colorful)
- 1 jalapeno
- 1/4 of a red onion
- juice of 1 lime
- 1/2 tsp maple syrup
- 4 large fresh basil leaves – julienned & chopped
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp of cayenne
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 1/4 tsp of pepper
- Finely chop the red onion and squeeze lime juice on top into a bowl.
- Let this sit for 20-30 mins.
- Chop all of the fruit and vegetables once the onion has marinated.
- Add to onion and lime.
- Measure out the spices and add to the other ingredients.
- Mix well.
- Let this sit for 20-20 minutes or longer before serving with tortilla chips or a vessel of your choice!
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