Spring may be around the corner but here in New England it is still very much winter. Winter is not my favorite season as anyone who knows me will tell you but I do try to look on the bright side. I may be stuck inside again as yet another storm blows by but what is nice, is now I have the time to make a savory beef stew or bake that new bread pudding recipe I have been meaning to try. It is a time to slow down a bit and listen to my music as I cook in my kitchen.
The recipe I have for you today is not a winter comfort food but it does involve oranges which is considered a winter fruit. It’s funny because when I think of oranges, I think of summer. Maybe because of the color (orange) and how they taste of sweet sunshine. Yes, it is winter but it is also March. Spring is at least in sight (in a far off kind of way) and making this fresh orange salsa reminds you that warmer days are ahead.
This particular recipe for orange salsa is very good with bright sweet flavors balanced with a little kick from the jalapeno pepper. It also has grape tomatoes in it which you would think is a weird combination of flavors but please trust me when I say that it totally works. As with most salsa recipes, you just chop up a few ingredients and it’s done. You also can make the salsa a few hours ahead of time which really works out nicely if you are planning on serving this to company. I serve this orange salsa with grilled (or sautéed) chicken or fish and end up looking like a rock star. It’s crazy easy but looks so impressive with all the beautiful colors going on. I use navel oranges here but you can substitute any variety of orange that looks good at the market and it still will be spectacular.
Fresh Orange SalsaPrint Recipe
Fresh Orange Salsa
- 4 or 5 - navel oranges
- 1 pint - grape or cherry tomatoes
- 1 - jalapeno pepper
- 1/4 cup - minced red onion
- 1/4 cup - chopped fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons - chopped fresh cilantro
- juice of 1 lime - about 2 tablespoons
- 2 tablespoons - olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon - kosher salt
Segment the oranges:
With a sharp knife cut off the peel of the oranges. - This is done by cutting off a bit of the top and bottom of the orange. Then carefully with your knife, follow along the curve of the orange from top to bottom cutting off the peel a section at a time.
Now again with a sharp knife, cut out the sections of the orange from the membrane. Here is a link to a video showing you how to do this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQr9QQLtBU0
Once finished with all of the oranges, cut these orange segments into bite size pieces and place into a work bowl.
This method works well with the thick-skinned navel orange but with other varieties it may be best to just peel the orange and then cut up the orange segments into smaller pieces.
To make the salsa:
Half or quarter ( depending on size ) about 1 cup of the tomatoes. Add to the bowl of oranges.
Cut a jalapeno pepper in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Mince half of the pepper and add to the salsa. The amount can be changed to your own taste.
Add in the chopped basil, the chopped cilantro and the minced onion.
In a separate bowl whisk together the lime juice and the olive oil and a pinch of salt to make a vinaigrette.
Spoon in about half of the lime juice vinaigrette and toss with the salsa. Taste, adding in more salt or more lime vinaigrette if needed.
Please feel free to double the recipe for a crowd. Also just add more or less of an ingredient to make the salsa to your taste.