Photo by Judith Hausman
Citrus meet cucumber; cucumber, citrus.
Transitioning now to true autumn, I still have dribs and drabs of summer elements to enjoy, as well as the occasional warmer evening when peaches and tomatoes still call to me. I made this salsa (you could also call it a relish or salad) in the heat of the summer, which combines citrus, cucumbers and mint, and liked it served with grilled fish. It can also stuff a taco or fancy-up some simple baked chicken.
I used a combination of pink grapefruit and orange this time (not especially seasonal, I know), diced not too small, and just a small, inch-long piece of a cayenne pepper, minced tiny. Red pepper flakes would be fine for the heat instead, if preferred. If you don’t have any mint, use the last of your basil. I can see the combination’s resemblance to Greek salad, and to make it lunch, I might add a handful of split cherry tomatoes, some olives and a crumble of feta cheese, as well.
Yield: ~2 cups
- 2 small oranges OR 1 orange and 1 small grapefruit, white membranes removed and chopped
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled or not, and chopped
- 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons additional citrus juice (orange, lime, grapefruit)
- 1 teaspoon hot pepper, minced OR dried red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons mint, chopped
- salt, to taste
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, mix and allow flavors to meld for an hour or so before serving.
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As a long-time freelance food writer, Judith Hausman has written about every aspect of food, but local producers and artisanal traditions remain closest to her heart. Eating close to home takes this seasonal eater through a journey of delights and dilemmas, one tiny deck garden, farmers’ market discovery and easy-as-pie recipe at a time. She writes from a still-bucolic but ever-more-suburban town in the New York City ‘burbs.