Fresh, bright and just a little unexpected: Fruit salsas are a highly recommended addition to spring seafood meals. The natural sweetness and tang of fruit blends beautifully with fish, and its moisture adds succulence to simple cooking techniques like baking and pan-searing. Salsas are generally no-cook and easy to prepare ahead, making them convenient for both weeknight meals and entertaining. And even simple white fillets look festive and enticing when crowned with colorful fruit salsa.
Bonus: From 3/14 - 3/20/18, sustainably wild-caught fresh Pacific rockfish fillets are on sale for $6.99 lb., and Champagne mangoes are on sale — get 5 for $5.
Anatomy of Fruit Salsas
Making a salsa with fruit may seem exotic, but a few simple ingredients and a few minutes of chopping is all you need to put one together. Keep the following four elements in mind and improvisation is easy:
Fruit base: Citrus, berries, melons, mangoes, pineapple, papaya, kiwi and starfruit are great spring choices. Dice them finely for a delicate salsa, or leave them in larger chucks for a more rustic one.
Acid boost: A touch of lime, lemon or vinegar ramps up the flavor. Use more or less depending on the natural acidity of your fruit.
Heat and punch: Chiles like jalapeño and serrano are salsa standards, though you can try removing the chile's seeds and pith to better control the heat level first. Or leave them out for a milder sauce. Minced onion, shallot or garlic will act as a foil to your fruit's sweetness to anchor your salsa firmly in the savory category.
Elegant herbs: A green note from cilantro, mint, chives, basil or other herbs gives salsas a freshness that's ideal for light spring meals. Add herbs as close to serving as possible for the most impact and to avoid any discoloration.
Add salt to taste, and you'll have a fruit salsa to pair with just about any fish or shellfish. Read on for inspiration and easy recipes.
6 Simple Fish-and-Salsa Recipes
Halibut Fillet with Citrus Salsa and Asparagus opens in a new tab is a terrific stovetop recipe that combines seasonal citrus with succulent halibut and spring asparagus. Chilean sea bass, striped bass or cod can be substituted for halibut.
Strawberries are a spring favorite, and Baked Salmon with Spinach and Strawberry Salsa opens in a new tab pairs them with jewel-like kiwifruit and adds mint for seasonal freshness. This recipe calls for no added salt, but a sprinkling of flaky sea salt on the fish and over the salsa would be a good addition for a little crunch.
Grilled Red Snapper with Strawberry and Avocado Salsa opens in a new tab also features strawberries, but using blueberries in this recipe would be terrific as well. If outdoor grilling isn't an option, you can use an indoor grill pan to cook the snapper, or pan-sear it in a little oil.
This simple Baked Salmon with Warm Mango Salsa opens in a new tab can be ready in 30 minutes, making it convenient for weeknight meals. Swordfish, tuna or other meaty fish would work well in place of salmon.
Halibut with Watermelon Salsa opens in a new tab calls for grilling the fish, but halibut's firm texture makes it easy to cook any number of ways, from pan-searing to baking. Feel free to swap in another favorite melon for the salsa, if you like.
And finally, Shrimp Tacos with Pineapple Salsa opens in a new tab makes a super-flavorful and light weeknight meal. You could also marinate chunks of cooked firm white fish such as cod or Chilean sea bass instead of shrimp for the ceviche-style filling.
* Valid 3/14 - 3/20/18. While supplies last. Not valid at Whole Foods Market 365™ stores. U.S. only. No rain checks. Excludes cooked rockfish and organic Champagne mangoes.