The pattypans in my CSA this week presented another opportunity to really test myself and try something different. I wanted a fresh salsa that would pair well with the blackened tilapia I was making — which meant I wanted something fresh, but not overwhelmingly ‘fruity’ or sweet. I looked at that pattypan (and I think they looked back) and I figured, why the heck not? This could work.
The next element that I wanted to bring into the salsa was more of the grill to enhance the earthiness of the tilapia … and, quite frankly, to kick things up a notch and do something different. As a result, I grilled all the elements of this salsa (except the fresh mint and sage), bringing out the natural sugars in each, but in caramelizing them, there was a greater depth to the sweetness that produced something that paired exceptionally well with the fish and the blackening method. Adding the fresh lime juice and zest added the acid the fish would need — this was further played out by grilled pineapple that will have everyone guessing. The mint and sage added some summer and freshness. And the grilled ginger? Yes, grilled ginger, added just a bit of heat and a hint of something yummy that can forever be your secret.
Serve with Blackened Tilapia (or Salmon). Recipe to be posted soon.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
Grilled Salsa with Summer Squash and Ginger
- 10-12 ounces of small-medium pattypans
- 1 small red pepper
- 3 slices of fresh pineapple
- 1 small onion
- 2 pieces of ginger
→ 1/4″ thick and the size of a quarter (about an inch each)
- 1 teaspoon of lime zest
- juice of half a lime
- 2 tablespoons, extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large sprig (about 5-6 large leaves) fresh spearmint
- 1 small spring (about 5 small leaves) of fresh sage
- 1 teaspoon agave syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Start your grill and heat it to around 400°F.
- Meanwhile, wash and prepare your ingredients: cut the red pepper into quarters; slice the onions and pineapple into 1/3″ (1 cm) thick rounds; and slice the pattypan into 1/2″ (1.5cm) rounds.
- Lightly oil all ingredients and the grill.
- When grill is to temperature, carefully place all the ingredients on the grill and cover and cook, in total, about 5-6 minutes, until nice grill marks have appeared. Turn and grill for an additional 5-6 minutes. Remove to a platter and let cool.
→ Do not overcook. The intention is to get a bit of char on the ingredients, not to overly cook them. The pepper and pattypan should have softened a bit, but still be somewhat firm.
- Meanwhile, zest roughly 1/2 a lime (1 tsp) and tightly roll the mint and safe leaves together and cut them chiffonade. Remove the skin of the ginger with a knife and then finely dice it. Toss ingredients into a medium-sized bowl.
- Other ingredients should be cool now. Coarsely dice the peppers and onion. And coarsely chop the pattypan and pineapple. Add all to the medium bowl with the mint, sage and ginger and light mix.
→ Don’t dice/chop any of these ingredients too small or they will disintegrate in the salsa.
- Juice 1/2 the lime into bowl and add the olive oil, and agave syrup (just enough to sweeten slightly).
- Lightly mix together and let stand until ready to serve.
- Just before serving, add salt in small increments to taste. Serve at room temperature.
→ You’re adding the salt at the end to ensure the salsa doesn’t get overly soggy or watery.
Serve with blackened fish (e.g. tilapia or salmon).