Salsa Basics

Cooking How-To,How-To,In Season,Summer
May 26, 2011

Get spicy this summer with fruity, fresh and fun salsas.

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There is no debating summer is when colorful vegetables, ripe fruits and hand picked herbs are at their best. So what better way to celebrate these gifts of the season than in an all-encompassing fruit or vegetable salsa? And we're talking freshly diced concoctions so good you’ll be tempted to spoon straight from the bowl. To get going, here are three cool tips followed by a few of our favorite homemade recipes.

  • Fresh is Best: Since salsa is typically no more than a combination of produce splashed with citrus and a little seasoning, ripe and ready ingredients are essential to making the flavors pop. Visit a local farmer’s market or roadside farm stand to pick up top-of-the-line salsa produce.
  • Think Outside the Basics: When choosing ingredients for your salsa, keep it unexpected by varying the texture. For example in a juicy fruit based salsa, add celery or onion for a little crunch. Even diced avocado in a tangy mango salsa will taste divine.
  • Go Beyond Classic Chips: Salsa and nachos are a no brainer, but don’t forget salsa's many other dipping, dunking and topping possibilities. Try a strawberry and kiwi salsa with freshly grilled salmon, or a corn and tomato salsa in a wrap. For you dunkers, whole-wheat toasted pita with a splash of cinnamon sugar is a sweet alternative to salty chips.

—By Emily Arno

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Fruit Salsa Salad

Plain and simple fruit salsa. Serve it as is or spoon onto lettuce leaves.

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Spicy Catfish with Tropical Fruit Salsa

Farmed catfish is versatile, sustainable and delicious.

Red Snapper with Mango Salsa

Red Snapper with Mango Salsa

Crunchy-crusted fish topped with fresh fruit salsa is a seaside celebration on the plate.

Omelet Nachos with Black Bean and Corn Salsa

Omelet Nachos with Black Bean and Corn Salsa

Skip the gluey queso sauce and try these light nachos.

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Peppered Beef with Pineapple Salsa

Fresh pineapple and jalapeño jelly add hot and cool flavors to beef flank steak.