Watermelon Salsa!

Hey guys! To kick off day two of writing on Whatever, I have decided to post a recipe. There were a surprising number of people in the comments of yesterday’s post that said they were looking forward to seeing what I make in the kitchen, and I was planning to make something today anyways, so I figured I might as well post it!

This past winter was, like, the longest winter I’ve ever lived through. I forgot for a second what in-season fruit tasted like. But now that summer is finally here, I bought a watermelon! I have never bought one before now, so that was an enthralling experience.

There a ton of recipes online for watermelon salsa, and while they are all unique in their own ways, they are all basically composed of the same few ingredients, which is watermelon, cucumber, red onion, and mango. Using my collective knowledge of these recipes, I just went for it and threw it together in a bowl.

Here’s what I used:

3 cups watermelon, diced

1 cucumber, peeled and diced

1/3 of a regular sized sweet red onion, diced

Juice of one lime

1 tbsp of sugar

Sprinkle of garlic salt (optional)

A very inexact amount of cayenne pepper (also optional)

Salt and pepper

So yeah, just throw all that together in a bowl and mix! Originally, I also had a mango I was going to use, but I had never bought a mango before today and apparently the one I bought was very very not ripe. So instead I added a little bit of mango flavored white balsamic vinegar, but I really wish there were actual chunks of mango in this bad boy. I think the sweetness of the mango would’ve been a great addition, as well as added some awesome color.

As for the cayenne pepper, just add as much as you want! Originally, I wasn’t even going to put any in because I’m a weakling in the ways of spice, but it seems like most other people in this household likes a kick to their food, so I just sprinkled a good amount in and hoped I wouldn’t die later.

Okay, so, about cost. From the store, I bought a watermelon, a mango, two limes (you only need one, though), a red onion, and a cucumber. I already had the garlic salt and cayenne pepper at home. All together, the produce cost $8.86 (this is including the mango I ended up not using). The most expensive thing was the watermelon, which was five bucks for a whole seedless one. Cost is very important to me. Food prices add up quickly, especially in recipes where you have none of the ingredients at home and have to go out and buy literally everything on the list.

If you end up making this, send me a picture on Twitter (@ascalzi98)! I would love to see if y’all end up adding anything, like the mango, or whatever else you think would be good in it! Hope you enjoy this summery and fresh salsa!

35 thoughts on “Watermelon Salsa!

  1. That salsa sounds good!
    You know what makes a great combination with watermelon? Tomatoes, bleu cheese, and basil. I know, sounds weird but it is really good. Toss with a little balsamic vinaigrette. Makes a really nice summer salad.

  2. Hmm, a very intriguing idea – thanks for posting! I shall have to give this a try when melons are a bit more in-season (i.e. affordable) in my neck of the woods.

    I do like the idea of mango pieces to add an alternative nose/mouth note to the watermelon, and lime juice is an excellent way to add pucker. I might also try adding just a whiff of balsamic vinegar (I know you said you used white mango-flavored balsamic, but I’d try the traditional stuff).

    Interesting that you don’t use any actual fresh peppers, though I know that dried hot pepper offers a more reliable level of heat. Fresh jalapenos can be a real gamble. But I’d probably still dice one up and toss it in.

    Thanks for a great idea to experiment with this summer!

  3. Athena- Not that it’s quite ripe this time of year, but I bet nectarines would have made a good substitute for the rock hard mango.

    The thought of this salsa is making me drool. Not a good look at work.

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Nice, my own preference would have had me swapping the cucumber for dill pickles; and dumping the pickle juice into the mix as well; but that’s just me.

  5. Unripe mango would likely work in this kind of recipe. Ripe mango can tend toward insipidness–it often needs a squeeze of lemon or lime. Unripe mango can be a bit mouth-puckering, but it’s good for adding a bit of kick to things. Classic chutney is based on green mango.

  6. For your future produce-buying, I’ve discovered a good rule of thumb. If the item doesn’t _smell_ like the thing it is (even through the skin), it’s not ripe and/or won’t _taste_ like the thing it is. A ripe mango, for example, should smell nice and mangoey, plus it should also have just a little give to a gentle squeeze, and the skin color will usually tend more toward red than green (but skin color isn’t always reliable in the days of dyes and gas-enhanced ripening).

  7. This sounds yum! I am in Jamaica, so all the ingredients are handy, especially mango. There’s a tree in nearly every yard here! Unfortunately for me, I am allergic so when I try this, I wouldn’t be able to partake. Will definitely add to the menu for an upcoming bbq though.

  8. I’ve made a watermelon salsa before and i would add that if you let it sit overnight, it kicks up all the flavors. (but be warned there is a LOT of liquid as watermelon is well a WATERmelon. So I found myself draining the salsa often)

  9. So, on first read through I thought this was John posting and was astounded that he’d never bought a watermelon before. Then I saw it was Athena and was only moderately surprised.

  10. Frozen mango, quartered, might work. It certainly does in mango chicken salad. I’m not sure if it’s easily available where you live, but I suspect a larger Kroger’s would have it, and Trader Joe’s definitely does.

  11. One way to kick the recipe up a notch is to put the onion and cucumber in the vinegar and spice mix the night before you add the rest of the ingredients. (IMHO, onion and cukes both need a little extra time to soak in the glory of vinegar before being ready for salsas.) So chop them up the night before, soak in the vinegar and spice mixture then add the watermelon and mango just before serving.

    Then again, I also like to add cumin to my salsa (for that bit of ineffable earthiness), so what do I know?

  12. This looks tasty! Someone mentioned the watermelon, bleu cheese and basil salad in the Comments above, and I can attest that it is a great salad too. (If you don’t like bleu, some people use Feta, and that works.)

  13. Your writing style is so charming; I’m looking forward to more of your posts this summer!

  14. Hi Athena, you’re doing a good job taking care of Whatever. Just one note of caution: I found all the exclamation points to be a bit distracting, though I’m susceptible to overusing them myself when chatting…

  15. Sounds yummy.
    I’ve made almost the exact recipe with one minor addition….herbs.
    In the house I was raised in if it didn’t have cilantro it wasn’t a salsa – it was a chutney.
    Fresh mint is also a great addition.

    As for the commenter who “drains the juice”….sacrilege!
    The juice is the best part!!
    Drink it straight or (for the adults) add your favorite booze. I find a fruit schnapps works well.

  16. This is great! I bet avocado would be good too.

    Since we’re talking salsa here, if you’re ever making fresh pico de gallo (tomato, onion, peppers, salt, pepper) an amazing addition is a *huge* bunch of chopped fresh mint. It is not as polarizing as cilantro and retains flavor longer than cilantro.

  17. “Anyways” is a perfectly acceptable colloquialism, says the editor of this site, and also, let’s not appoint ourselves copy editors, please.

  18. Burqueño here. Not to start a salsa arms race, but fresh Habanero is an excellent pepper to pair with fruit salsa. I make a cherry salsa that is tasty, but the standard Hatch Green Chile didn’t bring a lot of additional flavor to the party due to the sweetness of the fruit. I subbed with a handful of finely chopped Habanero, and UNF.

  19. Newbie to fruit salsa here. How do you eat it? With a fork like a salad, or do you scoop it with tortilla chips like a regular salsa? *intrigued*

  20. Oddly, yesterday afternoon I cut up several mangoes directly from the 75-foot tall tree in my back yard. It’s a messy messy tree when it’s a good mango year, because you can’t eat them as fast as they ripen, and the birds dearly love to nibble at them. I end up dumping a lot of unusable ones.

  21. I recently got hooked on the flavoured white balsamic vinegars myself. Except I’m hooked on them as a drink. Use about a quarter teaspoon of flavoured vinegar per cup of sparkling water – that’s the way my husband likes it. Personally I don’t care for the carbonation, so I use plain tap water.

  22. I like how John’s post is not highlighted while Athena is custodian, or whatever (pun intended). Makes him look like he’s part of his own fan base (“What’s your opinion on the latest Scalzi novel, John?”).

  23. A lady at work brought something like this to a potluck one time. She made sure she got rid of every seed in a jalapeno and then just chopped the flesh very fine. It didn’t add heat as much as that little “oomph” that the salsa needed. If I recall, she served it with white corn tortilla chips. I did wonder what some fried tortillas dipped in cinnamon sugar might taste like with it.

  24. You were lucky that mango was unripe – mangoes are the devil’s work! Whenever I buy fruit juices I make sure of the ingredients because even 1% mango juice makes it undrinkable for me. I would use pineapple chunks in place of the mango – but then I am also of the opinion that there is not a single variety of pizza in the world that would not benefit from the addition of pineapple (god’s fruit).

  25. You monster. Salsa consists of ripe tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapenos, a squeeze or two of lime- Salt will cause the tomatoes to disintegrate. Keep your nasty fruit salad, and add some poppy seed dressing to it, my Precious.

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