Latin Twist: Grapefruit, Cucumber, and Mint Salsa


Yes, mis queridos amigos: the sky’s the limit when it comes to so many things and salsa is no exception!  My guiding principles for salsa? Winning colors, textures, and of course flavors! This one, the Grapefruit, Cucumber and Mint Salsa, sings the song of spring, and Mother’s Day! Whether you’d like to dress up your salad, or add something to your grilled fish or meat, this Grapefruit, Cucumber and Mint Salsa will enhance your dishes. Or you might enjoy it with some excellent quality chips, and a margarita, for Cinco de Mayo!

Grapefruit, Cucumber and Mint Salsa Photo by Miki Duisterhof from Nueva Salsa, Palomino and Gargagliano, Chronicle Books

AND, if you’re looking for some Cinco de Mayo sips to go with your salsa, check this out! ¡Buen provecho! Enjoy!

Latin Twist: Grapefruit, Cucumber, and Mint Salsa

Yield: Makes about 3 cups

This simple citrus salad, adapted from Nueva Salsa (Palomino/Gargagliano) is great atop fresh arugula and more. Also, you can make it ahead of time, cover and refrigerate; just don't add the olive oil or mint until just before serving!


  • 3 pink grapefruits, peeled, seeded, and cut into segments
  • 3 cucumbers, seeded and diced (I like the smaller, Persian cucumbers)
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Zest of 1/4 orange
  • Olive oil to taste
  • 10 fresh mint leaves, stacked, rolled an cut into fine shreds
  • Salt to taste


  1. In a large bowl, combine the grapefruits and cucumbers.
  2. Stir in the orange juice and zest.
  3. Let sit for about 20 minutes.
  4. Add olive oil and then mint leaves, taste, add salt as needed, and serve!


About Author

Maybe it was the dinner parties my mom always threw—or the hours I spent prepping and cooking alongside her (and then on my own!). Or maybe it was array of fabulous dishes that my family sampled in New York City’s richly diverse restaurants, but I’ve loved creating, savoring, and sharing food for as long as I can remember. Living in Spain, and later in Peru, also greatly influenced my life. These years abroad taught me Spanish—and about living in different countries--but also introduced me to teaching English as a second language, which I’ve done—mostly in the US-- for the past 20-plus (yikes!) years. I’ve authored two cocktail/tapas books, Mambo Mixers and Calypso Coolers, coauthored more than 15 others (mostly food related!), and raised two children. Now I'm chef and owner of my own restaurant, Mambo 64 in Tuckahoe, New York. My message is the same, whether I'm teaching, writing, running the restaurant or being a regular guest on the Spanish-language network Telemundo (on the morning show, Buenos Días Nueva York!). My belief in food—and the power of food—is far reaching, and is married with another one: the power of stories. I’m sure that if we could all sit down and have meals together, sharing both tastes and tales, we’d have peace on earth. Enjoy!

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