Autumn is prime time for apples, which go so well with pork.
They also grill nicely. Here, we keep the skins on to help protect the fruit from overcooking. Feel free to discard the skin, but for more flavor and texture, add some finely diced peel to the salsa.
Serve atop or on the side of the Texas-Style Mesquite-Smoked Big Chop (see related recipe).
Make Ahead: The salsa can be made a day in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container.
Servings: 2 - 3.5 cups
- 2 tablespoons minced red onion
- Finely grated zest and freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 lime (1/4 teaspoon zest and 1 teaspoon juice
- 1 tablespoon cilantro leaves, chopped
- 2 sweet apples, such as Honeycrisp (about 11 ounces total)
- 1 tart apple, such as Jonagold (about 5 ounces total)
- Half a lemon
- 1 small jalapeño pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Prepare the charcoal grill for direct heat. Light the charcoal or wood briquettes; when the briquettes are ready, distribute them evenly across the cooking area. For a medium-hot fire, you should be able to hold your hand about 6 inches above the coals for 4 to 5 seconds. Have a spray bottle ready for taming flare-ups. Lightly coat the grill rack with oil and place it on the grill.
Combine the onion, lime zest, lime juice and cilantro in a medium bowl. Cut the apples in half and core them. To keep the apples from browning while you wait for your fire, rub the cut side of the lemon half on the cut sides of the apple halves.
Place the jalapeno and the apples, cut sides down, directly over the fire for about 3 minutes. When they have charred somewhat, turn them over. Grill for about 3 minutes or until they char. You want the apples to have blackened a little and to have softened slightly.
When the apples are cool enough to handle, slip off their skins, if desired; discard the skin or finely dice it and add it to the bowl. Seed and stem the jalapeno, then cut it into small dice. Taste for the level of heat; add some or all of the jalapeno to the bowl. Coarsely chop or dice the apples; toss into the bowl. Add the salt.
Mix well before serving.
From Smoke Signals columnist Jim Shahin.
Tested by Jeffrey Donald.
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