Here’s an amazing fruit salsa that will be sure to put the kick back in your favourite Mexican fare. The papaya and mango work well together but what really brings this dish together is the lime … and the lime skin in particular. I’ve tried just the zest but there is something much more powerful in using the skin in this dish. If you find this daunting, zest an entire lime instead, but trust me, the extra intensity from a piece of lime skin is different. It’s easy enough to prepare minced lime skin … just be careful that you have a very sharp knife because you’re going to be filleting the skin from the lime rind in order to remove the bitter pith (the inner white part) before mincing it up.
Finely, yes, you can prepare the whole thing in a food processor, but I don’t recommend it unless you’re very careful. You run the real risk of puréeing the papaya and mango … and the result will be runny which doesn’t work well in a taco or rolled tortilla.
While you can make this an hour before use, it’s best made 4 hours or more ahead of serving to allow the flavours (and lime in particular) to marry.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: —
Total time: 20 minutes
Papaya-Mango Lime Salsa
- 1 lb (450 gr), ripe papaya (this whole weight, including seeds and skin)
- 1 ataulfo mango
- ½ red bell pepper
- ½ jalapeño, seeded
- ¼ cup cilantro
- ¼ cup red onion
- 1 lime, juiced
- ¼ of a lime skin
- 3 tablespoons, extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon, agave syrup
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- Seed and peel papaya — finely dice.
- Peel mango and finely dice.
NB: For those not sure the best way to skin and dice a mango, it’s easy enough … and it is a great way to improve your knife skills and fillet skills in particular. First, putting the mango on edge, cut down on each side of the pit producing two “halves.” Cut each half lengthwise to produce quarters. Using a very sharp chef’s knife, slip the knife between the skin and flesh and remove the flesh — let the knife slide, don’t ‘force’ it. Always move the knife away your fingers, holding the mango and skin from behind the knife. You won’t be able to get too close to the skin because the skin is curved — don’t worry. To remove excess flesh from the skin (you don’t want waste any), repeat the process again — this time the skin will flatten out and, voila, you have filleted the mango. Now just dice it up for the salsa.
- Seed and finely dice the bell pepper and jalapeño. The seeds of the jalapeño are the heat. Remove them if you don’t want the salsa to be spicy. Taste the jalapeño flesh for heat — not jalapeños are equal and some are quite mild. Use more jalapeño and/or seeds to your taste.
- Remove the leaves from the cilantro and coarsely chop them. Don’t use the stems.
- Finely mince the onion. Alternatively, use a large shallot.
- Now prepare the lime skin. To do so, follow the same technique explained above with the mango skin (see picture below). Cut the lime into quarters; remove the inside flesh; lay rind flat and slice out the white pith; repeat until all the pith is removed. Finely mince the skin.
- Now mix all ingredients together and add juice of 1 lime, agave syrup, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Taste for heat, salt, and sweetness … and ‘tang’ and adjust if necessary.
Refrigerate for 4 hours, removing from fridge 1 hour before serving.