This delicious pineapple cucumber and mint relish (or salsa depending on your definition) is the latest addition to our ever-growing list of healthy no-cook sauces.
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The Peel household is obsessing over sauces, salsas and relishes lately. We eat so many great whole foods, but we just need a punch of flavor sometimes. Or all the time. That is why we love this pineapple cucumber relish.
Our cucumbers were in overdrive one summer and I could only stomach so many more pickles. I tried a bunch of different salsa and relish recipes and this became a favorite.
What is the difference between salsa, relish, and chutney?
Salsas typically feature a spicy element and are typically tomato and chili based. Relishes contain cucumbers and are often pickled. Chutneys are primarily fruit-based and cooked with spices.
So…. Is this a salsa, relish, or a chutney? While I make it both ways, I typically leave out any heat, like a jalapeno, because I find it overpowers the refreshing cucumber and mint. So that makes it a relish. Unlike most relish's we don't pickle this one, or chop it too finely. We like to keep it chunkier too, more like light salad, when using it as a topping for meat.
Ingredients and Substitutions
This is one of those basic no-cook sauces that just requires you to chop up the veggies and toss together. How finally you chop up the ingredients is up to you.
- Pineapple- Use fresh pineapple for this recipe, frozen doesn't always result in the best texture unless you want to puree/ finely chop it.
- Cucumber- I prefer English seedless cucumbers or the baby Persian cucumbers. If using a regular cucumber you will want to deseed it before chopping.
- Red Onion- If you find the flavor too strong you can soak your onions in water for 5 minutes to take the bite out. Drain very well before combining with the remaining ingredients. In a pinch, you can substitute scallions or shallots, but the flavor will not be as robust.
- Herbs- This recipe calls for cilantro and mint. We love this combo, but we realize not everyone likes cilantro. Italian basil, Thai basil, and flat-leaf parsley all make tasty substitutions.
- Make it Spicy- Add finely diced jalapeno or serrano peppers for a bit of a kick.
To make the relish, combine all the chopped ingredients. Pretty simple right?
Pro Tip: Wait to salt the relish until right before serving to avoid discolored mushy cucumbers.
How to Serve and Use Relish
So many possibilities…. Here are a few of our favorites ways to serve pineapple cucumber and mint relish/ salsa!
- With chips (yep like salsa- just don't forget to add the spice!
- In place of a dressing on a big grilled chicken and spinach salad
- Over roasted fish (we pick our easy brine salmon or grilled tuna steak)
- Blackened shrimp tacos- the perfect taco topping!
- Inside spring rolls- trust me, yum!
- Over steamed carrots, the prettiest side dish you have ever seen.
- It also pairs well with pickled watermelon radishes on a buffet
Pineapple, Cucumber and Mint Relish
- 1 1/2 c fresh pineapple, diced
- 1 c cucumber, seeded and diced
- 1/2 c red onion, diced
- 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- salt, to taste
- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Gently toss to combine. Salt to taste.
- AIP Compliant as written
- Diced jalapeno can be added for an extra kick (not AIP compliant)