At the moment we are living in the Caribbean for my husband’s current job assignment. Although the food options here leave a bit to be desired for spoiled Americans like us, I’ve learned to adapt and am enjoying cooking with as many locally sourced ingredients as possible. Not only is it environmentally responsible to buy local items, but it’s also more nutritious, usually tastes better, and saves us money in a rather expensive locale. One of my regular purchases has become locally grown Scotch bonnet peppers. It seems everything that grows in the islands is beautiful and these are no exception. They do pack quite a punch, even with the seeds and ribs removed. The addition of sweet, juicy pineapple tames that intense spiciness. Grilling the pineapple beforehand adds a subtle smokiness and brings out even more sweetness, but it is optional and the salsa will still be delicious even if you skip this step. If you can’t find Scotch bonnet peppers, use habanero as they are very similar. If you don’t like quite that much heat, go ahead and substitute with a jalapeno. This is delicious on fish tacos or simply as a dip for tortilla chips. Be warned, this is addictive!
Sweet & Spicy Pineapple Salsa
- 1 cup chopped pineapple, grilled if desired
- 1/2 cup chopped tomato
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 1-2 Scotch bonnet peppers (may use habanero or jalapeno), seeds & ribs removed for less heat
- 1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper (may use yellow or orange)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/8 cup chopped cilantro
- juice of half a lime
- sea salt & cracked black pepper to taste
Place all ingredients in a food processor bowl and pulse briefly until mixture is diced uniformly. Be careful not to over-process into a puree. You’re looking for a small dice with a bit of liquid. Alternatively, if you don’t have a food processor, simply dice everything by hand and combine in a bowl. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to your liking. Chill until ready to serve. This should keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3-5 days. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.