Pineapple Salsa

Memorial Day is the unofficial kick-off for summer cookouts. Maybe it's the promise of consistent warm weather for the next three months. Maybe it's the celebration of a winter long gone. Whatever the reason, neighborhoods fill with the scent of grilling and good food. It feels wrong not to participate in the American tradition so I've decided to help you plan a bit. This Pineapple Salsa is great for entertaining for a few reasons. It's make ahead so you don't have to worry about prep that morning. It's a different take on a classic for an easy twist. It's refreshing. The pineapple is a great touch that's juicy and fruity, the perfect combo for a warm day. 

Summer is a great time to introduce fruit to dishes you wouldn't think to mix them with. Salsa is getting a better rep when it comes to fruit. You see mango and pineapple in the stores often during summertime and I've even seen a few berry twists. I love pineapple because the sweet tartness blends really well with tomato and spicy jalapeno. I would recommend using fresh pineapple if you have that option available. It just renders much more flavor but canned pineapple can be used in a pinch. If you want to take this recipe a step further, grill the pineapple before dicing it. It will add a smokey, charred flavor to the salsa and who doesn't love that?

Normally I would use one whole jalapeno but the one I picked up from the store was rather potent. I could smell the spice before I even cut into it. Once I did, oh man was it a tear jerker. With that said, for this recipe I only used a half of a jalapeno but a whole one works too. Use your own heat meter as judgement. I like using red onions in salsas. They are stronger than a white or yellow onion though so if that's something to keep in mind. I'd recommend using half the suggested measurement for onion or switching to a white or yellow variety. Note that it will have a different flavor.

Pineapple Salsa
2 cups Pineapple, diced
1/2 Red Onion, diced small
2 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
1/2 Jalapeno Pepper, finely chopped
Juice of one lime
2 medium Tomatoes, diced
salt and pepper

Chop the pineapples, red onion and garlic and place in a medium-sized bowl. Remove the seeds and ribs from the jalapeno (or leave them in for lots of heat) and add it to the bowl. Squeeze the juice from one lime and add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.

Cover the bowl tight with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge to marinate overnight or for at least 3 hours. Serve with tortilla chips.

What are your Memorial Day plans? Do you have any favorite cookout recipes?