While living in Texas, I discovered the true meaning of heat — both outside and inside. Although I never thought of weather as “spicy,” there were plenty of times I thought of food as too “hot” in a chile-pepper kind of way. Good thing I learned to make salsa! I could make it as hot as I wanted, and many restaurants had more than one variety, some milder than others.
Salsa is the Spanish word for sauce, of which there are many types and varieties in Latin countries. We tend to use “salsa” to refer to the tomato-based sauce that comes along with chips and Mexican cuisine. Fresh salsa can be made from, yes, tomatoes, but also from a variety of vegetables including onions, scallions, carrots, garlic, celery, and mild or spicy peppers. An excellent salsa can also be made from fruits, legumes (black beans are a favorite salsa addition) and herbs.
If you’ve never made homemade salsa, a good place to start is with our Learn to Cook: Fresh Salsa recipe. For greater variety, venture on to these super salsa recipes:
- Strawberry Salsa with green onions and lime juice.
- Fresh Melon Salsa with red onion, cilantro and jalapeno peppers.
- Peach and Cucumber Salsa with mint, basil and white onions.
- Mango Black Bean Salsa with avocado, lime and jalapeno peppers.
- Cranberry Orange Salsa with fresh cranberries, oranges and zest.
- Avocado Mango Salsa with olive oil, garlic and orange juice – spruce it up with sliced Serrano peppers!
- Fresh Pineapple Salsa with cilantro and red onion.
- Mediterranean Salsa with feta and kalamata olives.
- Squash and Tomato Basil Salsa with fresh basil and yellow squash.
- Cherry Salsa with Balsamic Vinegar and Basil - the name says it all!
- Avocado Salsa with Olives and Cilantro is made with Serrano peppers and bell peppers.
For your next outdoor meal or BBQ, consider the following:
- Grilled Lamb Chops with Cherry Salsa
- Chicken with Grilled Peach and Chipotle Salsa
- Halibut with Watermelon Salsa
- Grilled Salsa Drumsticks
- Shrimp Tacos with Fresh Pineapple Salsa
- Grilled Calamari Steaks with Mediterranean Salsa
- Grilled Swordfish Sandwiches with Summer Squash Salsa
- Ham Steaks with Fresh Pineapple Salsa
Here’s how I like to use salsa:
- Spoon over scrambled or pan-fried eggs, or in the center of an omelet.
- Stuff it into pita sandwiches along with favorite meats and/or veggies.
- Use as a garnish for grilled meats, tofu or tempeh.
- Mash with potatoes or spoon over a baked potato.
- Spoon fruit salsa over ice cream, frozen yogurt or any non-dairy alternative.
- Beans, rice, corn, veggies, and … salsa!
- Cook a pot of grains such as rice or quinoa. Add salsa while cooking.
- Mix with sour cream or Greek yogurt and serve with Mexican food. Delicious with fajitas!
- Spoon over bruschetta.
- Try it over mac ‘n cheese, cheesy polenta or cheese-grits.
- Use as a dip for a variety of chips including potato, corn and veggie chips.
Prepared salsa is a delicious time-saver. Check out the fresh selection available in our Prepared Foods Department. We’ve also got a slew of super-good salsas in jars on our grocery shelves.
Are you a salsa lover? Got a recipe? Let me know.