Little Red Bombs of Flavour

Recently, we had some work done in the garden by one of our local landscape specialists. On occasion in the past, we’ve called him in when we need heavy work done like repointing the stone boundary walls, trimming the (massive) mature trees, or replacing a gate. He’s become someone we can rely on and the jobs usually end in a little friendly natter. So, after finishing the job the other day, he and I were looking over my fruit shrubs, swapping recipes for this and that.

“They’re like little red bombs of flavour,” he said, pointing to clusters of red fruit. “Pop them in and they burst in your mouth.”

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Not exactly how I would describe red currants, but in a way, he’s spot on in his description. His parting words of wisdom were a vague recipe for a red currant chutney, giving me the idea for this fresh chutney/relish type of condiment. I thought it a good trade for the pot containing a young loganberry plant he left with.

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Red Currant Salsa
Based on a fresh Mexican salsa, Pico de Gallo, using a very British ingredient – red currants. Very easy to assemble and no cooking involved!

  • 100g (approximately 1 cup) red currants
  • 1 fresh green chilli, preferably a jalepeño
  • 1 lime
  • 1 small shallot
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • Sea salt to taste

Clean and de-stem the red currants. Crush/chop lightly, leaving some whole. Put currants into a bowl with the juice from the lime and the honey. De-seed and finely chop the green chilli pepper. Finely chip the shallot. Add both of these to the bowl and taste, adjusting with a pinch or two of salt. Let the mixture sit (covered) at room temperature for several hours before using.

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Absolutely fabulous with grilled pork. If there is any left over, cover and refrigerate. Use within 2 days.

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29 comments

  1. This looks lovely, sharp, astringent, fruity and hot! I can imagine that it was delicious with pork. Don’t you love it when tradesmen go the extra mile for you..

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    • We have a few such reliable tradesmen, but our landscape gardener is the only one who cooks! I was surprised at how well the flavours came together in this salsa. You hit the nail on the head – sharp, astringent, fruity and hot! Pretty colours, too.

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  2. The birds ate all our redcurrants this year (again)… wishing I’d managed to save some from them now – the flavours in your salsa sound so fresh and tasty.

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    • The detritus just looked so photogenic sitting there in a pile. Plus, I forgot to take photos of the salsa in progress! If you can get red currants (your summer?), it is really worth doing.

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  3. Red currant salsa sounds so refreshing and flavorful. I need to plant my own currants so I can make this. They don’t sell fresh currants here in the stores. I did taste fresh ones many years ago, can’t remember from where, and can’t remember exactly how they tasted! 🙂

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    • I remember when we lived in the US that we could only get red currants from friends who grew them or occasionally at farmers’ markets. It’s a shame since they are fabulous, although tart, fruit. They are used quite a lot in summer desserts here and then there is the red currant jelly to be made. They were perfect in this adaptation of Pico de Gallo.

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  4. Gosh does this look good. So vibrant! How nice to have these currants in your yard. Just yesterday I saw red currants at my farmers market. I’d love to prepare this dish for friends one evening. Thanks for sharing.

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    • I’m glad you were able to find fresh red currants. I remember from my time in the upper mid-west that they were rather a rare find. Luckily, I had a friend who grew them. And, now I grow my own. The salsa was very, very good. It surprised me how well the flavours combined. Hope you enjoy it.

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  5. This looks so good! Would enjoy trying it if I can find some currents. Womenlivinglifeafter50.com

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  6. Love red currants… In both sweet and savoury way! I have some at home, not my own of course 😉 i save this idea! …last year i used them for a savoury and tart sauce i used with salmon, i loved it! This sound great too!

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