Monday, July 4, 2011

Strawberry Salsa

 I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I've never met a fruit salsa I didn't like! So, of course, I'm always excited to try a fruit salsa that is new and fun.
 I was trying to think of a new red, white, and blue recipe for July 4th festivities, but I could only think of the usual strawberry and blueberry desserts. Then I thought, what if I do something savory instead? So I began to look up strawberry salsa recipes. I found quite a few variations! Some people add tomatoes, some add several kinds of bell peppers, some add oranges.
 I decided to just stay with a basic tried-and-true salsa recipe, only using strawberries instead of tomatoes. It worked beautifully! Actually, it'll work with any fruit you'd like to use. Literally, you can use this recipe and just switch out the main ingredient. Might as well stick with a winning combination, right? Like the old saying goes "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". So here you go. Maybe next time I'll try it with peaches, but for now, I'll stick with the red white and blue!

2 quarts fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and chopped
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup orange juice
Juice of one lime
Kosher salt
Black pepper, freshly cracked

Simply stir all ingredients together in a large bowl. Can be served right away, but it's better if you let it chill in the fridge for about an hour. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips. Also great over grilled chicken, pork, or fish.

-The key to any good salsa is to balance all the flavors. You should be able to taste all the flavors, but nothing should overpower anything else. Oh, and chop everything REALLY finely so it'll be easy to scoop up on a tortilla chip!
-This recipe makes quite a big batch, but you can easily cut it in half if you have a smaller crowd.
-If you would rather use a jarred jalapeno instead of the fresh, go for it! Add as much as you like!
-I like a milder salsa, so I discarded the seeds and insides of the jalapeno pepper, but if you like the heat, go ahead and chop and drop the whole pepper, seeds and all!
-To turn up the heat even further, add your favorite hot pepper or Tabasco sauce.
-To make it red white and blue for your 4th of July BBQ, serve it with blue corn chips and a big dollop of sour cream. Yes, sour cream goes GREAT with any kind of salsa!

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