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Seven Satisfying Summer Salsas

looking down on a frosty margarita and a bowl of salsa

Salsas, whether homemade or store-bought, add a bright pop of flavor to many different dishes, but they don’t always have to be tomatoes, peppers, and onions. Take advantage of the delicious summer fruits and vegetables to get creative.

So, besides eating it with chips, what can you do with salsas? Grab your hat for a quick trip through some of these ideas:

Top your tacos or nachos. Add them to burgers, hot dogs, and summer sandwiches. Mix them with your scrambled eggs or top fried or poached eggs with them. Stir them with macaroni, beans, and grilled vegetables for a new twist on pasta salad. Spoon them over grilled fish, chicken, pork chops, steaks or tofu.

Make a quick guacamole by adding them to mashed avocado and a drizzle of lime or lemon juice. Use them in place of salad dressing on sturdy, leafy salads. Take it to the next level by also adding black or pinto beans, crushed tortilla chips, and queso blanco or Mexican blend cheese.

Forget the accompaniments - just eat it by itself as a side or snack. Yes, that’s allowed!

Now, for seven great salsas made from fresh summer produce. Note: Control the heat of your salsa by how much of the pepper veins you leave. For a milder salsa, remove all of the veins and seeds; for hotter varieties, leave a little of each.

Be careful when working with jalapenos; if you don’t use gloves while handling them, wash your hands thoroughly with soap before touching your face and eyes. In fact, it’s often wise to wash them more than once!

green tomatillo ripening in the garden

Salsa Verde

Besides the uses above, this sauce is perfect for topping chicken enchiladas. Mix cream cheese, grated Cheddar or Mexican blend cheese, chopped onions, and shredded rotisserie chicken. Roll the mixture in softened corn tortillas, top it with the sauce, and sprinkle with a little more onions and cheese. Bake until everything is melty and gooey.

4 tomatillos

2 jalapenos, seeded and deveined as desired

1 large onion

Roast the vegetables together at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until the tomatillos are soft. Put everything in the food processor and pulse it until it is mostly smooth. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and a squeeze of citrus juice. Dip in and enjoy.

Mango Salsa

This salsa is fantastic on fish, shrimp, and scallops. Kick it up a notch by adding a bit of pineapple as well.

Dice and stir together:

2 mangos

1 red onion

2 jalapenos, seeded and deveined to your taste and diced

1/2 c parsley

Zest and juice a lime; add it to the diced fruit and vegetables. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

bowl of corn and black bean salsa with jalapenos

Corn and Black Beans Salsa

Is there anything more delicious than fresh summer sweet corn? After you try this salsa, you’ll agree that the corn is the best.

You’ll need:

2-4 ears of corn, cut from the cob

1 large tomato, seeded and diced (or 1 c grape tomatoes, cut in half)

1/2 red onion, finely diced

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 jalapeno, seeded, deveined, and diced

1/4 c balsamic vinegar

1/4 c water

Mix the vinegar and water; pour it over the combined vegetables, Serve with a slotted spoon.

This one is also extra delicious with 2 diced avocados.

Ginger-Apple Salsa

Not only is this amazing on meats, but it also makes a scrumptious and surprising topping for pound cake and ice cream.

Gently mix together:

1 Granny Smith apple, diced

1 Kiku, Honeycrisp, or other sweet cooking apple, diced

1 onion, diced

1/4 c lime juice

2 T fresh ginger, minced

2 t jalapeno, diced

2 T cilantro or parsley, finely chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Strawberry Summer Salsa

Sweet and savory come together with a bang in this summer treat.

Toss together:

2 c strawberries, diced

1/4 c jalapeno, diced

1/2 c red onion, finely chopped

Zest and juice of 1 lime

1/4 c parsley or cilantro

salt and pepper

Cucumber-Radish Salsa

Surprise everyone with a refreshing vegetable salsa. This one is especially good on burgers, salads, and chicken. Because it is not cooked, use a high-quality oil in this.

Mix together:

2 bunches radishes, diced

4 Persian or 2 English cucumbers, diced

1/4 c parsley, julienned or chopped

2 T extra-virgin olive oil

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

salt and pepper

Great Grapes Salsa

As a dip, on top of meat, on cake or ice cream, or just by the spoonful - this one is delicious.

Gently toss together:

3 c green grapes, halved

3 c red grapes, halved

1 c parsley, finely chopped

1-2 jalapeno, diced

1/2 c green onions, finely sliced (white and green parts)

Zest and juice of 1 lime

1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil

1 t hot sauce

salt and pepper


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