Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Salsas.... mmmmm caliente!

Summertime = fresh garden veggies and luscious fruits. Add them all together and it’s time for homemade salsa fresca!

Pico de Gallo
3 ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 small red onion (or 1-2 stalks of green onion), finely chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced (leave the seeds if you want to kick up the heat)
cilantro springs, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
Juice of 1 lime
salt, pepper to taste

In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients together. Let stand at least 30 minutes before serving, but I like to let it sit for 3-5 hours before I dive in. The salt draws out the tomato juices nicely, and lets them mingle with the oniony-garlicky-limey-cilantro flavors.

(NOTE: this is so good I usually eat it on it's own, but you can use it on eggs, chips, salad, seafood, etc)

Mango Salsa
2 cups diced peeled mango
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (choose from mint, cilantro, or basil)
2/3 cup chopped green onions
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
4 teaspoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
optional: one chopped jalapeño

Combine all ingredients together, season with salt and pepper as desired. For an additional kick, add one jalapeño- the sweetness of the fruit complements the heat of the peppers nicely. Cover, and keep in the refrigerator. This salsa can be made a few hours ahead, and will last in the refrigerator for 2 days. Great on fish or grilled chicken.

NOTE: Anytime you chop jalapeños and other peppers, remove the oils from your fingers with a paste of salt and water afterwards. Otherwise, you can burn your eyes or other sensitive areas from the oil that lingers. With peppers, gloves can be a good thing - unless you like the burn :)

Toss back a few margaritas and you're set.

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