This is my first post with The Food Matters Project and I have to say I was equally parts excited and intimidated by this week’s recipe, Grilled Fish with Fruit Salsa. Now if you saw the recipe, you would be stumped on why I was intimidated by this quick and easy formula for fruit salsa.

Here’s the thing:

I may seem adventurous, but I am my mother’s daughter. Fruit salsa? I have never made fruit salsa. In my black and white, traditionalist mindset, salsa is supposed to be made of tomatoes.

Yes, I really said that.

But before we talk about the salsa, let’s talk about Food Matters.

Food Matters

Mark Bittman wrote two Food Matters books. The first book, Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating, came out in 2009. In short, it’s his version of a clean diet. Eat vegan until 6 pm and then let loose. I have my opinions about it but essentially I think it’s a great book and great idea. At the back of that book, he has suggested meal plans and recipes.

In 2010, he came out with The Food Matters Cookbook that contains over 500 recipes that follow a plant-dependent (but not exclusive) diet with lots of whole grains and healthy fats.

The Food Matters Project is a group of bloggers who cook a recipe from the cookbook once a week. There are a lot of similar blog groups out there but I have always hesitated to join them because the recipes selected do not always fit our diet. This seemed like a perfect match.

What Kind of Salsa?!

This week’s recipe was chosen by Sarah from Food and Frederick. The instructions for the recipe call for one and a half pounds of fruit. Suggested fruits are: strawberries, pineapple, mango, peaches, plums, or any stone fruit.

I immediately crossed out pineapple because two nights ago I had cut up four pineapple for some pineapple infused vodka and I was done cutting up pineapple.

pineapple infused vodka

And by the way, that recipe is coming this week.

Mangos got the ax because they are messy, the same for peaches, plums, and stone fruit. Okay so maybe they are not that messy but it was Saturday night and I wanted this to be as painless as possible.

This left strawberries. 

Next to blueberries and spinach, this is the third favorite food in the Badger Girl/Manatee household. Though I could not envision strawberries in my narrow vision of tomato salsa, I moved ahead. At the store I met a new fruit that helped me bridge the gap between Bittman’s fanciful fruit salsa and the jarred salsa of my youth.

The Persimmon.


Looks like a tomato, right? That’s why I bought it. It has a mild, fruity taste and a firm texture. It’s apparently pretty healthy too. 

With great trepidation about the salsa, I decided to go all out on the fish and go with yellowfin tuna. Manatee is open-minded about eating but if I was having doubts, he would need convincing as well.

When I got home from the store, our exchange went something like this:

Manatee: What are we making tonight?

Me: Grilled tuna and (cough) strawberry (cough) salsa.

Manatee: Sweet!  (admires tuna and then notices the abundance of strawberries on the counter) Wait, what kind of salsa?

Me: Exactly. 

I put Manatee in charge of the tuna. I do believe he actually squealed with delight when he put the tuna on the grill. It was that good.

I set to work on the salsa.

Little did I know, the meat would take backseat to this amazingly flavorful salsa.

Strawberry and Persimmon Salsa

1/2 pound strawberries, hulled and quartered
1 persimmon, diced
1/2 avocado, diced
1/4 red onion, diced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
1 banana pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons olive oil

Combine peppers, fruit, avocado, red onion, and cilantro in a large bowl.

strawberry and persimmon salsa

Add lime juice and oil, toss to coat.

Recipe Review: Fruit salsa, where have you been all my life?

strawberry and persimmon salsa

This was amazing. So much more flavor than a regular salsa and a lot less chopping. I love it. The strawberries brought a sweetness that was balanced with the persimmon (a more neutral flavor) and the tanginess of the red onion and lime juice. The avocado balanced the heat of the peppers really well and the cilantro kept the flavors fresh.

This is a pretty spicy salsa. If you want to tone down the spice, I would either take away a jalapeno pepper or add more avocado.

I am a little ashamed at my narrow mindset.

This salsa was the best salsa I ever made.

Oh, and the tuna was pretty good too. We grilled it for a few minutes on each side. Simple, perfect, summery.

To see more fruity salsa ideas, check out the other members of The Food Matters Project. 


What is your favorite take on salsa?

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