We hope your summer has started with wonderful weather, fun in the sun, and wholesome food. In the same way that we tend to crave hearty, rich soups or a mug of hot tea during the colder months, once the temperatures start to rise our bodies crave chunky salsa and big scoops of ice cream.
Traditionally, salsa is thought of as the tomato-based, chunky dip accompanied by chips, but I’m here to tell you that salsa stretches far beyond that. We are talking salsa with peaches, salsa with beans, salsa for fish, and salsa for beef. Who isn’t a fan of Dr. Suess?
With the list of salsa recipes stretching from here to Hawaii, there are plenty of reasons to try new salsas with your meals or as appetizers.
1. Salsa adds a ton of flavor to any dish.
2. It is made of fresh, wholesome ingredients. Where else can you combine peaches and onions?
3. It is super easy to make. Your guests will think you worked for hours.
4. It stores well for tomorrow (or the next day or the next).
5. Summer is the season for fruit and vegetables perfect for salsa-making.
Salsa Making Tips
- Select the freshest ingredients possible. Last month, we shared everything local, but I’ll say it again, the produce you get at the grocery store does not compare to the flavor of the produce you get from (a) a farm, (b) a farmer’s market or CSA, or (c) your own backyard.
- If making a salsa with hot peppers, remove the seeds for less heat. However, if making a traditional salsa, I do not recommend removing all the jalapeno seeds. Trust me on this, bland bland salsa! You’ll want some heat.
- When working with hot peppers (jalapeno, pablano, etc) use gloves. Just go ahead and trust me on this one, too okay?
- Choose “meaty” tomatoes like Roma or cherry over Beefsteak which have a higher water content.
7 Salsa Recipes
The first recipe, Texas Cavier, is one that has been in my family for years. It might be a little different every time, but when you see that big bowl of edible confetti, you get excited. This salsa is great with chips or eaten alone as a side dish. It looks fancy because of all the colors, but the simplicity will awe your guests.
- 1/2 red onion
- 1 bell pepper
- 1 avocado
- 1 can organic sweet corn, drained (or corn from 3 ears)
- 1 can organic black-eyed peas, drained (or 2 cups cooked)
- 1/2-3/4 cup homemade Italian dressing
- S&P to taste
- Begin by chopping all of your vegetables and adding to your prettiest bowl. If using anything canned, drain and add to bowl as well.
- Make dressing and add just enough so that your salsa mixture isn't quite covered. Mix well. Best if served after chilling at least 2 hours.
Some of you may be hesitant to add a fruit-based salsa to your steaks. I get it, you love your steaks just the way they are. Why add anything to them? The 4 Marine officers, and Midwest BBQ fans, loved this recipe. It gives your steak a new twist, one that is light and fresh. For leftover steak, simply add the sliced beef to a bed of greens, and top with salsa. Quick steak salad!
Grilled Mango & Pineapple Salsa for Beef
- 4 grass-fed steaks
- 1 mango, cut in half (I just cut two large chunks for the side--mangoes have large pits)
- 3 pineapple rings
- 2 limes, halved
- 3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
- 1/4 cup red onion, diced
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 jalapeno, chopped (the more seeds you add, the more heat you'll get)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, separated
- S&P to taste
- Prepare the steaks by squeezing half a lime over all, followed by a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. Rub well.
- Place mango, pineapple, and lime (2 halves, peel side up) on grill over medium heat for approximately 5 minutes, flipping mango and pineapple.
- Cook steaks according to taste.
- Toss together tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapeno, remaining olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Add diced mango and pineapple and squeeze lime juice into salsa upon completion.
- Mix well and set aside until rest of grilling is finished. Top steaks with salsa.
Sometimes your fish need a little something, right? Well this recipe is what you’ve been looking for. The combination of roasted peach and corn is surprisingly flavorful and perfect for your sea fare. The salsa is pictured over salmon, but it would be equally tasty if not more so on any white fish. Same goes with leftovers here as I mentioned with the beef, slice your fish over a bed of greens and top with the salsa and you’ve got a quick and delicious lunch.
Peach & Corn Salsa for Fish
- 2 lbs wild caught salmon (cut into 3-4 pieces)
- corn from 2 ears (or approx. 1 1/3 cups)
- 3 peaches, skinned and cut in half
- juice from one lime
- 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
- 1/2 jalapeno (more seeds mean more heat), diced
- 1/3 cup cilantro, roughly chopped (or torn)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- If grilling, place peaches over medium heat for 5 minutes, flip and repeat. If not grilling, place peaches under high-heat broiler for 10-15 minutes.
- While peaches are cooking, add the rest of ingredients to a medium bowl, mix well.
- After peaches have begun to brown, remove from heat and dice. Add to salsa. Mix well.
- This salsa will taste best after it's been in the refrigerator for a couple hours (or overnight).
- Enjoy this over salmon, or your favorite fish. Cut the fish into bite-sized pieces and place on a bed of greens, topping with salsa.
A MAK contributor, Kresha, is kind enough to share her recipe for Rhubarb Salsa from her book Restocking the Pantry here! Thanks, Kresha! To really bring the flavor of the rhubarb out, she suggests not skimping on the ginger or honey! This recipe would be a wonderful addition to any occasion.
- zest from 1 orange
- 7-8 stalks of rhubarb, coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
- 2-3 inches fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
- 1/2 of a green bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 of a yellow onion, finely diced
- 1/2 of a small red onion, finely diced
- 1-2 jalapeño peppers,seeded and minced
- 1/2 cup raw honey
- juice from 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon
- unrefined sea salt
- First, soften the rhubarb by simmering it in a few tablespoons of water over medium heat just until it begins to fall apart, 10-15 minutes.
- Place the rhubarb in a blender, food processor, or large bowl. Add all remaining ingredients and blend together until a chunky puree is formed. (If you’re working by hand, just toss everything together well.) Adjust seasonings.
One of our contributors, Katie, has shared her much-loved Salsa Verde with us. She gives us a step-by-step guide on how to make the best salsa and also shows us how to can the salsa to enjoy months down the road. Check out how she got her kids involved in the process.
This Peach-Mango Salsa is a combination of the two salsas shared above for beef and fish. It too can be added to your favorite meat, or enjoyed solo. Add some rice and beans, and enjoy in a wrap. However you decide to have this salsa, just have it. It’s light and fresh and perfect for those hot summer days.
What’s your favorite way to have salsa? Have you tried a nontraditional salsa?
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