Today let’s discuss some accompaniments to the dishes we talked about in yesterday’s article. Watermelon salsa is a popular variation on classic Pico d’ Gallo and can be use on milder flavored meats, most specifically white fleshed fish. Swordfish was recommended yesterday and would be perfect but it has about the most intensity of flavor you would want to use with such a delicate melon as the fruit component for this Salsa. Some other mild white fish that would work here are: Halibut, Rockfish, Barramundi, Skate wing, Waloo, Wahoo, Black Bass, Striped Bass or Amberjack would all be lovely. After the recipe a few substitutions for the fruit will be listed and each will be able to lend themselves to complement a different level of flavor.
- 8 oz. Watermelon (medium dice)
- 2 oz. Sweet Yellow Onion such as Vidalia or Maui (medium dice)
- 1 each Jalapeno Pepper (seeded, veined, and brunoise)
- 2-3 Tbsp. Fresh Cilantro (chiffonade)
- 2 Tbsp. Lime Juice (fresh squeezed if possible)
- 1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Optional)
- 1/2 tsp. Salt
- 1/4 tsp. Black Pepper (Freshly Ground)
- After processing Mix all ingredients in a bowl and taste, add more Salt and Pepper to adjust seasoning to your liking
- Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, though this is a dish best served within 24 hours.
Now if you were too simply substitute tomato for the watermelon you would have a version of classic Pico d’ Gallo, this would be an equally suitable match as long as the tomatoes are ripe and the local tomatoes are about a month away, but you can of course use the California product till then. With Tomato the topping can be used for more robust flavored meats such as salmon, chicken, pork, and even beef. Another good substitution would be mango. Mango is lush and sweet but not as delicate as the watermelon so it will stand up to bigger fish like Tuna, Salmon, or Trout. Some may want to talk about pineapple or papaya and while they would be fine additions to the Mango Salsa they also serve to bring it a step back as far as versatility, with pineapple being soooo sweet and papaya being so finicky, it seems wiser to just stick to mangos.
To round out a dish like this look to have a naturally bitter, green, vegetable that can be done on the grill, asparagus would serve nicely. Then finish it off with citrus scented rice as your starch, an orzo salad was mentioned by a reader and would work nicely in there as well.
As for some other Beers that would be tasty with this dish look for something from the wheat beer, blonde, or lager family as a point of starting. You would not want something to powerful here as the flavors of the fish and the melon will be completely overwhelmed. Serra Nevada Summerfest, Pete’s Strawberry Blonde, Lancaster Strawberry Wheat, or even a good old Corona with a lime would all be wonderful selections.