Friday, September 12, 2008

When Raita Met Salsa

September has yet to assert itself as the summery type of the autumn-y kind. Today's been overcast and healthfully gloomy, and I made it home from a run just before this cool rain started. Tomorrow promises to be sunny and 75. So while the seasons remain in flux, I am torn by what to cook. I want to seize the last of the sweet corn and heirloom tomatoes, but I'm also giddy at the site of squash and brussels sprouts at the farmers' market. What's a girl to do??

I whipped this up yesterday in the spirit of seasonal limbo, and of using the produce I had kicking around. I don't quite know what it is (it's a mix between a raita and a salsa) or what to do with it (too chunky to be a sauce, too light to be a proper salad). In essence, it's not a moment of culinary perfection. But it's delicious but strange, refreshing but stimulating, exotic yet homey.   

Apple-Cucumber Sorta Like-a Raita
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
1 sweet apple (Gala, Empire, Pink Lady), diced
1 new, white onion (not the yellow, papery kind), diced
splash of olive oil
juice from half a lemon
handful of fresh parsley, minced
sprinkle of sea salt

Mix it up in a bowl, take a bit, and ponder - what am I eating?

My guinea pig for this experiment likened it to cantaloupe -  I guess that' the sweetness of the apple and the texture of the cuke talking. This might work with tofu sour cream or soy yogurt.


Kevin said...

To be completely fair a salsa by definition is a sauce. When you look at trends the 5 mother sauces have digressed over years and become new and better, and salsa is becoming more and more accepted as a sauce. That having been said, there is no real traditional base to the classic salsa unless you stick to the norm of concassed tomatoe with all the other goodies. Besides, in this culinary day and age anyone can get away with batardizing titles.

To be certain, the lack of a yogurt to bind it can't quite constitute a raita. The trend with making mango salsas and the like (great with roast duck, if you are a caveman) will bring it closer to the moniker "salsa"

Define it as you want, chica. It is your dish is it not?

J'Hab said...

I remember asking Senorita Jordan how you say sauce in Spanish. "Salsa!" she replied. So there ya go, Kev. You are erudite and eloquent as always.

Ms. Mercedes said...

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Steck's Blog said...

I think the soft texture of the cucumber gave it that bit of melon like feature, but the mix of fresh onion with the subtle flavor of parsley, and splash of lemon gave it that citrus/fruity flavor. I was a big fan of this recipe. At first the idea of all those ingredients together may seem like a weird mix, but I got to say, it was a perfect combination of textures and flavors.