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Satisfy your springtime tastes with Chef Patrick White's mango salsa

With the warmer weather and blooming wildflowers of spring upon us, are your taste buds craving bright and fresh flavors? If so, try this delicious recipe for Chef Patrick White's signature mango-roasted red pepper salsa -- a perfect topper for fish, chicken, and more.

I always wonder sometimes, ok maybe more than sometimes, how grateful I am that the seasons change, and spring time is here. When you first think of the season of spring, you may think of spring cleaning, or spring sports, or even spring fishing. Well, our taste buds don't seem to be far from those thoughts. It’s amazing that we’ve been blessed by the fact that, for most of us, our taste buds seem to change along with the seasons.

After celebrating the fall and winter seasons with your loved ones, and you’re still stuffed from holiday meats, desserts, or (my favorite) the holiday sides, your taste buds tend to start craving for lighter, cleaner, fruitier dishes. If you’re as southern as I am, the earliest memory of the change may be when you or your loved ones started eating more fresh caught fish. Now of course, red meats, chicken, turkey wings, etc., still dominate, but as a kid, I noticed when we started throwing more fish frys under the sun than holiday dinners under the air conditioner, it was officially spring!

One of my first thoughts when cooking for spring is fish. Nowadays, that means pan roasted, oven baked, fried, steamed, air fried, or grilled. That led me to execute so many fish dishes in my days as an Executive Chef. One of my favorites is pan roasted wild caught sea bass, spiced with garlic and parmesan, served with cauliflower puree, caramelized Vidalia sweet onions, romanesco cauliflower, and topped with an heirloom tomato-sage roasted garlic and white wine reduction on a bed of lemon steamed cous-cous.

I’m just shaking my head as I'm picturing how great the flavors were, from the charred sweet flavors from the Vidalia onions, to the smooth creamy buttery flavor of the cauliflower puree, to the roasted broccoli-like texture from the romanesco, finished with the lightly sweet, tangy, garlicky taste of the heirloom tomato reduction. Usually I would credit the sauce for bringing everything together, but actually in this dish, the cous-cous seemed to be the perfect compliment to everything.

Sea Bass over CousCous

Another one of my favorite springtime dishes takes me back to my early chef days: cast iron-seared Mahi-Mahi served with avocado-Boursin cheese risotto and topped with fire-roasted red pepper mango-lime salsa. Now this time I’m shaking my head while saying This combination of flavors, especially with seafood, tends to be more my preference as far as me eating and enjoying myself.

The roasted flavor of red bell pepper pairs perfectly with the sweet, juicy mango and the fresh tanginess of lime juice, lime zest, red onion, and cilantro. Those flavors, along with the creaminess of the Boursin risotto, mixed with fresh not-too-hard or too-soft avocado, along with the flaky, buttery flavor of the mahi-mahi all comes together for a great marriage.

What makes it even better is that this salsa recipe can literally go with almost every meal. Whether it’s vegetables, pork, chicken, grilled steaks, or seafood, this salsa can enhance any dish.

Mahi over Risotta with Mango Salsa

One of my favorite quotes about the seasons is, "If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant." I laugh out loud figuratively when I hear that quote because it's so true. Another one of my favorite quotes is, "Spring is far more than just a changing of seasons; it's a rebirth of the spirit," by Toni Sorenson. You can most likely apply that quote to most circumstances, but especially when it comes to food.

Not only is it a rebirth spiritually, but even as a foodie, it’s a rebirth of your taste buds. For me personally, my foodie spirit looks forward to the changing of the seasons. I hope that as you have read this, that you find the importance of embracing the changing of the seasons we've been blessed to see. Especially when it comes to your taste buds!

Yes, it's that time of the year again, and spring is in the air. Weather is warmer. Flowers are blooming. Gardens are harvesting. Farmers are working hard and blessing the crops. (Thank you, farmers!) Whatever the season, your taste buds will follow. That’s the beauty of food, isn't it? Throughout history, what we eat and what we discover brings us together. It’s a communal table.

Just out of curiosity, what are some of your favorite springtime foods? Desserts? Quick meals? Maybe some of your favorite memories come from going fishing with a family member. Whatever the case may be, I hope that my passion for food resonates with you.

After all, the love of food is how we know who we are, and it’s how we know we’re connected. Stay hungry my friends, and thank you for your support!

Mango Salsa

Chef Patrick’s Signature Mango-Roasted Red Pepper Salsa

6 servings, 15 min prep


  • 2 mangoes, diced (ripe)
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, de-seeded and membranes removed, diced (OPTIONAL)
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Juice from one lime (small)

Let's put it together:

  1. Combine the mango, red onion, roasted red bell pepper, jalapeño, and cilantro in a medium size bowl.
  2. Sprinkle it with salt, and the lime juice. (Start with juice from 1/2 a lime first, then taste and add more lime juice as desired.)
  3. Add lime zest, stir to combine.
  4. Allow the salsa to chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes prior to serving. This gives time for the flavors to blend and the fruit and peppers to soften in the lime juice.
  5. Store covered in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
  6. Scoop onto your plate and enjoy!

Happy cooking, my friends!