Cranberry Pineapple Salsa

Monday, October 26, 2009

For Trajan's birthday party I also wanted to do a seasonal salsa. Considering tomatoes are now out of season, when I saw this recipe in Gourmet that used fall flavors and colors, I jumped at the chance to try it out. Although when I do it again I'll add some changes, enough people liked it and wanted the recipe, so here you go!

Cranberry Pineapple Salsa
1 pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 (12 oz bag) fresh cranberries (not frozen!)
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup Seville orange juice (or 2 Tbsp each of fresh lime and regular orange juice)
1 cup packed cilantro sprigs, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 450 degrees with rack in upper third.

Toss pineapple and onion with oil and 1/2 tsp salt in a large sheet pan and roast, stirring occasionally until charred in spots, about 40 minutes to an hour.

Meanwhile, pulse the cranberries in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in 1/3 cup brown sugar.

Add hot roasted pineapple mixture stirring until sugar has dissolved, then stir in citrus juice. Season with brown sugar and salt. Cool, then stir in cilantro. Let stand covered 1 hour.

My Notes:
I grilled the pineapple and found that to be an easier and less messy way to achieve the desired charred and caramelized effect. If you grill the pineapple, do not core it; just slice it into 1 inch thick slices and brush with vegetable oil. Grill on high heat until char marks. Let cool slightly before cutting (make sure you cut out that core!!)

I also used raw onions, but did not like how intense the flavor was. I definitely will do this again with oven-roasted or grilled onions.

The cranberries I thought were an awesome addition of sour to this salsa. I loved the color, the texture, and the flavor they gave to the whole dish. I liked how they played against the caramelized pineapple. Just make sure you don't pulse them too much; you want a rough chop, not a fine mince!

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