Seasonally correct salsa

It is with great sadness that I start to adjust my menus for the fall and winter seasons while the rest of the food blogging world becomes ecstatic and rejoices that these seasons have rolled around so they can once again feature the likes of pumpkins, acorn squash and root vegetables on their menus.

The fact of the matter is, I don't really enjoy the fall and winter food offerings as much as I do the summer fruits and vegetables so I try to hold on to the seasons as long as I can by eating and posting seasonally incorrect items. I'm trying to do better, though.  I really am. 

I thought I'd break myself in slowly with this salsa that seemed more appropriate for fall since it featured cranberries and I still had a few bags of fresh cranberries in the freezer left over from last season.  Even though the recipe said not to use frozen, I went with it anyway and it probably accounted for the fact that all of the ingredients in the salsa were ruby red colored - fresh cranberries wouldn't bleed as much color, if any.  In addition to the 1/3 cup brown sugar it called for, I used pretty close to another 1/4 cup to season plus a pinch or two of salt because it was VERY tart and even then it was still just a tad too tart for my taste.  But again, I'm trying.  I really am. 

This salsa appeared in the November 2008 edition of Gourmet magazine and is a good complement when served with turkey or chicken but honestly, I liked it best with good old-fashioned tortilla chips and it seemed to get better, albeit still tart, a few days after it was made.  The saltiness of the chips seemed to balance it out very nicely. 

If this is your season, I'm happy for you. I really am.  I'll just sit over here in the corner and wait patiently for my beloved season to come back around.

Cranberry Pineapple Salsa
as published in Gourmet, November 2008

  • 1 (4-pounds) pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 (12-ounces) bag fresh cranberries (3 1/2 cups; not frozen)
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup Seville orange juice (or 2 tablespoon each of fresh lime juice and regular orange juice)
  • 1 cup packed cilantro sprigs, coarsely chopped

  • Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in upper third.

    Toss pineapple and onion with oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large 4-sided sheet pan, then roast, stirring occasionally, until charred in spots, 40 minutes to 1 hour (Alison's note: 30 minutes was plenty enough time for roasting.  I decided to let it go upwards of 40 minutes but my pineapple started turning into charcoal briquettes shortly after 30).

    Meanwhile, pulse cranberries in a food processor until coarsely chopped, then 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.

    Note: Salsa, without cilantro, can be made 3 days ahead and chilled. Bring to room temperature and add cilantro before serving.



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