- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Is it a salad? A condiment? A dip? It’s Jamaican salsa salad, which means it’s all of the above.

Although this delicious dish looks like chunky guacamole with dots of color at first glance, you’ll know it’s something far more interesting and exotic as soon as it hits your mouth. People get very excited when I serve this dish, and as soon as you try it, you’ll understand why.

Serve Jamaican salsa salad as you would either a salsa or a salad — scoop it up with chips or use it as a terrific topping for crackers or toast. Jamaican salsa salad is also a perfect addition to a dinner of plain beans and rice.

Hints for making the Jamaican salsa salad: Serve this soon after it is made. It doesn’t keep very well past the first day. If you don’t have access to fresh chilies, substitute red pepper flakes to taste. “Ripe” avocados translates into “firm, with just a little give when gently squeezed.” You want the avocados to be distinct little units, rather than mush, in this dish.

Jamaican salsa salad


½ cup minced red onion

5 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 to 2 small serrano chilies (2½ inches long, or ½ small jalapeno chili, seeded and very finely minced)

4 small, ripe avocados, peeled and diced (save the pits)

1 ripe mango, small dice

1½ cups minced fresh pineapple (half a small pineapple)

1½ cups minced jicama

2 teaspoons minced garlic

½ to 3/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

3 tablespoons minced fresh mint

½ teaspoon ground cumin

Put up about a quart of water to boil. Meanwhile, place the onion in a strainer or colander over a large bowl or in the sink. Pour the boiling water over the onion and let the onion stand while you prepare the other ingredients. (This slightly cooks the onion, removing its sharp edge.)

Combine the lime juice and minced chilies in a medium-sized bowl. Add the avocados, mango, pineapple, jicama, garlic, salt, herbs and cumin, along with the onion. Mix everything together gently but thoroughly.

Place the avocado pits in the salad. This helps the avocados retain their gorgeous color.

Cover tightly and chill for about 2 hours. Remove the pits before serving. Makes 6 cups


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