Kiwi Salsa

We have a kiwi fruit vine that is rather prolific, to put it mildly. “The untamed beast”, “vine from hell”, or simply “the monster” are a few of the names my father and I have given this plant. Or plants. There may be two of them but I rarely fight my way through the mass of leaves and fruit to see what is really growing there. It’s my mother’s baby, so we are only allowed to cut it back when it threatens to completely overtake the vegetable garden, which it does on a weekly basis all summer long.

Kiwi fruit, also known as Chinese gooseberries, were first marketed to the US by New Zealanders, who call themselves “kiwis” after a native bird of New Zealand. They have a rough brown skin, which once peeled reveals a bright green interior, tart and hard when unripe, soft and sweet when ripe. Although we are used to eating them in the summer, that’s because we’ve been importing them from New Zealand for years. The season for kiwifruit is actually in the fall and winter; we start picking ours in late October.

While in New Zealand last year I consulted with a local chef to see if I find some ideas of things to do with the profusion of kiwi fruit our vines produced. He suggested using them the way one might use a raw tomato, in that they are both acidic and sweet, and recommended making salsa with them. Brilliant! Here is a lovely spicy seasonal salsa that I put together today using a few kiwifruit, with some pomegranate seeds for added color and sweetness, and avocado to balance out the acidity of the kiwifruit. Serve with tacos or steak.

Kiwi Salsa Recipe

  • Yield: Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 ripe kiwifruit, peeled, carefully chopped
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds (arils)
  • 1/2 avocado, peeled and chopped (see how to cut and peel an avocado)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon thinly sliced green onion
  • 1 tablespoon (adjust to taste) of chopped fresh or pickled jalapeño chili peppers (no seeds)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Place the kiwifruit, pomegranate seeds, avocado, green onion and olive oil in a medium sized bowl. Starting with just a teaspoon of chopped jalapeño, gently fold in and add more to your desired level of heat. Add cilantro. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Links:

Kiwi fruit chutney from Barbara of Winos and Foodies in Auckland

22 Comments

  1. Katie

    You have 2 vines. You have to have a male and a female to have fruit. They’re usually planted so close together you can hardly tell.
    We have 2 also, and I agree about the ‘from hell’ part. Incredibly prolific and we end up throwing tons out. We’ll be picking in a few weeks – I’ll use any recipe you can throw my way! Merci!

  2. Danielle

    That’s just gorgeous! I love how vivid the colors are – and since I love kiwi and pomegranate, I’m sure that it is as delicious as it looks.

  3. lydia

    What a great use of kiwi fruit! I remember traveling in New Zealand many years ago, and being able to buy kiwis for something like $2 for a five-pound bag. For this New England girl, that was an amazing treat.

  4. Sarah

    That looks amazing! I love kiwifruit – my favotrite thing to do with them is very simple: I like to make a fruit salad with kiwis, strawberries and bananas. I eat this with yogurt and muesli or granola.

    For some reason, kiwis and strawberries just seem to go together. Similar textures, I suppose.

  5. Braden

    That looks really good! My wife and I are both big fans of pomegranate and kiwi so this dish will be enjoyed.

    Thanks for posting.

    Best –
    Braden

  6. jonathan

    At first glance, I think to myself…”There’s a lot going on there.”

    And then, I remember…”Aren’t you a little tired of pineapple salsas?”

    Lastly, I declare…”Why the heck not?”

  7. Mercedes

    That’s hilarious- there’s always a few plants that just grow and grow. In the Middle East kiwi juice is very popular. Since it takes a lot of kiwis to make the juice, you might want to try it (add a bit of lemon and a pinch of sugar). It’s a delicious snack, and I love the bright green flecked with black. Kiwi-banana smoothies are good too.

  8. tiny morsels

    I just happen to have all these ingredients in my kitchen right now, and would never have thought of putting them together. Can’t wait to try this one!

  9. jennsquared

    That looks absolutely amazing and delicious!

    At least your crazy vine produce fruit!!! Ours does nothing and it wasn’t even that pretty! We finally cut it down to fence level… It was taking over our roof!!!

    Note from Elise: As a previous commenter noted, you need to have a male and a female vine, growing near each other, in order for pollination to occur and kiwifruit to be produced. But just imagine, now two vines taking over your roof!

  10. TsaraBe

    Using kiwis as tomatoes, that’s a brilliant idea! I wonder why we don’t come out with the ideas before whereas it seems so obvious!
    Btw your salsa looks great (great combination of tangy and sweetness…)as usual!

  11. Lupita

    Just absolutely loved it. I added extra jalapeños. I love hot salsas. It made a great afternoon snack right out of the bowl with tortilla chips.

  12. barbara

    Elise the red and green look stunning. How perfect for the Christmas lunch table. Thanks for the link. I’m just back from two months in Australia and haven’t been blogging. I’m looking forward to getting back to it. Don’t think I will be making any desserts or cakes though as I added a few kilos while away.

  13. Tom

    I saw this on your blog the other day and was looking for an excuse to try it out.
    Tonight was the night, as I had a nice fillet of salmon that a friend had caught and given to me.
    I picked up everything from the grocery store (except for the cilantro… I forgot it) and made the salsa while the salmon was cooking.
    What a FANTASTIC addition it turned out to be!
    It went absolutely wonderful (even without cilantro) with the fish.
    I’ll definitely have to try this one again!
    Thanks for such a terrific site with all these great recipes.

  14. Marty

    Where can I get a male and female kiwi plant – I want to add it to my garden from hell.
    Love this recipe!

    Note from Elise: Check your local nursery for kiwi plants. They can probably order you some if they don’t have any in stock. Check also if your climate is appropriate to grow them.

  15. Kate

    I made this tonight and it’s great. Only problem is that I added way too much jalapeno so it is very very spicy. Any advice on how to cool it down?

    Note from Elise: Yes, pick out as much of the jalapeno as you can, and add some more avocado. Avocado actually dissipates the chemical in the chili that makes it hot.

  16. HereBeDragons

    Ah! I’m fighting envy for your predicament. I would love an abundance of kiwis! This is a completely unexpected recipe. Sounds fun.

  17. jerak

    Just made this and it is absolutely fantastic! Never would have thought to put all these different ingredients together. Thanks for the recipe!

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