I don’t work at Barnes and Noble but I do shop there. When you first enter the store, there is often a rack of “special” books that you may overlook. They always have modest prices. They always have a distinct size or cover. You might pass right by, but if you see The Complete Mexican by Jane Milton, Jenni Fleetwood, and Marina Filippelli, grab a copy. It’s filled with recipes that simply don’t “look” like the ones you are used to. You’ll gain a very new perspective on Mexican fare.

For example, salsa. Salsa? Most of the time we make our salsa with some — but not necessarily all — of a core set of ingredients: tomatoes, chilies, onion, cilantro.

Here’s a twist. Keep the tomato, but ditch the other stuff. Use oranges and chives instead! Yes, it sounds almost bizarrely different. But, it’s delicious. I had this as a side dish with a Mexican trout — blog to come! — and it was brightly flavorful.

One note here. You dice up the tomato and oranges. There’s a lot of fluid running around. This dish is best made just before the meal. And, no, it really does not last overnight in the fridge. In that sense, it seems to be a very authentic “make it now and eat it now” dish.

Orange, Tomato and Chive Salsa

Yield: Serves 4 as a side dish

  • 2 large, sweet oranges
  • 1 beefsteak tomato, or 2 plum tomatoes
  • Bunch of fresh chives [mine were right of the garden!]
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt


Slice the base off each orange so they will stand firmly on a chopping board. Using a large sharp knife, remove the peel by slicing from the top to the bottom of each orange.

Working over a bowl, segment each orange in turn. Slice toward the middle of the fruit, and slightly tone side of a segment, and then gently twist the knife to release the orange segment. Squeeze any juice form the remaining membrane.

Roughly chop the orange segments and them to the bowl of collected orange juice. Halve the tomato, and scoop the meat into the bowl. Dice the remaining flesh of each tomato half and add to the bowl.

Hold the bunch of chives over the bowl, and use scissors to snip them in short pieces over the bowl.

Thinly slice the garlic and stir into the mixture. Pour in the olive oil, then season with salt. Stir, taste, and adjust to meet your needs.

Source: The Complete Mexican by Jane Milton, Jenni Fleetwood, and Marina Filippelli