Whitefish with Cherry Salsa ~ whether you grill your fish over charcoal or pop it under the broiler, my juicy cherry salsa makes it a spectacular 30 minute meal.
The idea of pairing fish with salsa isn’t new on tvfgi ~ I’ve matched fish and seafood with salsas for years, just check the recipe index! It’s always been one of my favorite ways to cook, especially in spring and summer. It’s light, colorful, fresh, and unexpected. So healthy, too.
- Salmon with Kiwi Salsa
- Salmon with Pineapple Jalapeño Salsa
- Grilled Shrimp with Pomegranate Salsa
- …there’s even a Halibut with Citrus Salsa buried way back in the archives.
if you’re curious about trying a reduced calorie diet to lose a few pounds salsa is your bff. Salsa offers up so much flavor and excitement, but racks up minimal calories at just 4-15 calories per tablespoon. No fat, no sugar, just tons of pretty, zesty, flavor. When you load up on the salsa, you can cut down on the protein portion of your plate, so it not only saves calories, but money too.
Why cherry salsa?
Salsa ~ ‘sauce‘ in Spanish ~ it livens up so many Mediterranean recipes, and it’s spilled over into every cuisine on the planet. Sometimes silky, sometimes chunky…almost always vibrant and explosive in flavor. Fruit (remember tomatoes and peppers are fruits!) makes the best salsa because it’s naturally sweet and juicy. When you pair it with red onions, herbs, and something acidic like citrus or vinegar, you’ve got a combo that livens up so many foods (think grilled chicken, fish, steak, pork, tacos, even eggs…) I chose cherries for this salsa because they hold their shape well, and have a strong sweet flavor that holds up to the heat of the jalapeño.
Every year the Washington State Fruit Commission sends me the motherlode of fresh Northwest cherries as they come into season. Like all stone fruit, you don’t see cherries except when they’re in season, so it’s use ’em or lose ’em until next year. I’m making sure to use every last one of mine…
Note about tools: A cherry pitter makes all the difference when you’re trying to eat as many cherries as you can during the short season! It took only minutes for me to pit a bowl of fruit for my salsa.
For salsa I like to chop the cherries in a small dice which helps the juices release and the flavors mingle. I like my stainless steel Alligator Chopper for the job, it’s one of my favorite kitchen tools and I talk about it a lot. The stainless steel version is a bit pricier than the plastic one they advertise on tv, but it’s so much sturdier (the plastic one broke on me after a few months use.) I even mince the jalapeño with it.
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Cherries are sturdier than many other fruits, so you can make your salsa up to a day ahead of time, just keep it airtight in the refrigerator. It’s great with grilled chicken, steak, and tacos, too. I’ve been known to polish off leftovers with a bag of chips.
I chose whitefish for this dish because I think the cherry jalapeño salsa works best with a mild fish. Cherries are one of the most assertiveSalmon or other strong fish might compete with the flavor. Cod, halibut, or tilapia would all be good choices, plus the bright white fish looks so pretty against the brilliant salsa. Grilled shrimp, maybe skewered for the barbecue, would work great too.
don’t lose this whitefish with cherry salsa ~ pin it!
If you’re lucky enough to be in possesion of great fresh cherries, here are some other ideas for how to put them to use ~
A deliciously light grilled fish with a spicy fresh cherry salsa.
- 2 cups finely chopped cherries
- 1/2 jalapeno, seeded, and finely minced (leaves seeds in for more heat)
- 3 Tbsp finely minced red onion
- juice of 1 large lime
- fresh chopped cilantro to taste, about 2-3 Tbsp
- 2 lbs whitefish fillets (4)
- 2 lemons
- butter or olive oil
- Combine the salsa ingredients in a bowl and toss. Taste to adjust the lime juice, cilantro, or jalapeño. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Preheat oven to 425F
- Arrange the whitefish in a single layer on a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper, and then either dot with butter or drizzle with olive oil. Tuck the lemon slices around the edges of the fish. When the oven has reached temperature, bake the fish just until it is opaque and flakes with a fork, about 10-12 minutes. Put the pan under the broiler briefly to get some charring on the surface.
- Serve the fish with the lemon slices topped with a generous amount of the cherry salsa.
Use tilapia, halibut, cod, trout, or sea bass in place of the whitefish.
Make this whitefish with cherry salsa your own ~
- Make it with blueberries, strawberries, or even raspberries!
- Make it with tilapia, trout, halibut, or cod.