Salsa Time

July 01, 2011
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While it’s easy to make salsas any time of year, the ingredients are particularly fresh during the heat of summer. The word salsa is simply Spanish for sauce, and it’s not restricted to tomatoes. Onion, lime juice and a little heat are common threads throughout plenty of salsa recipes, but this is the season to experiment. Salsa with chips is a staple, but these chunky concoctions work well with grilled meats and fish, or stirred into cold rice or cooked grains for a salad. They also may be used in lieu of dressing on a green salad. If you like a little punch, go heavy on the lemon or lime juice. If you’re a fan of spicy heat, load it up with fresh jalapenos. The canvas is blank and salsas are the way to add flavor and color this summer.


A basic tomato salsa, it’s the addition of all the herbs that makes this a standout. Dill, basil, and parsley give it a bright flavor that is particularly nice with fish.

  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients. Chill completely.


This fruit salsa is robust, gorgeously colored, and is an excellent addition to grilled meats — beef, pork, chicken or lamb.

  • 3 peaches, peeled, stoned and chopped
  • 1 cup whole blueberries
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh mint
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 1 small onion or shallot, minced
  • Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate for up to two days.


This salsa is beautiful. Use a mixture of red and green seedless grapes for the best color. The flavor is very bright, just a little bit sweet, and a lovely complement to turkey, chicken, pork or fish.

  • 2 cups seedless grapes, red and green, halved
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup toasted almond slivers, crushed

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature.


The bits of charred skin from the tomatoes and jalapenos is what makes this salsa so distinctive. Adding some fresh cilantro isn’t a bad idea either.

  • 6 medium tomatoes
  • 10 jalapenos
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Preheat grill to high. Rub tomatoes and jalapenos with oil. Place tomatoes and jalapenos on grill. Char for about 10 minutes, then turn and char the other side. Remove tomatoes when skin begins to peel back. Remove jalapenos when completely charred. Cool.

Remove as much of the skin as you can from the tomatoes and place in food processor. Remove steps from jalapenos and place in food processor. Add remaining ingredients to food processor and pulse until the mixture has a smooth consistency. Chill completely before serving.


With brown sugar and cream, this is a decadent sauce. However, you do not need a lot to make it a lovely addition to chicken or pork.

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 ounces roasted mild green chiles, diced
  • 2 cups pecans, chopped
  • Pinch of salt

In a large saucepan, over medium-high heat, add water and sugar. Increase heat and boil gently for five minutes. Remove from heat and carefully stir in cream. Add remaining ingredients. Serve warm.

Article from Edible Memphis at
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