A Guide To Great Summer Salsas

During this time of year, gardens and farms have a bounty of seasonal tomatoes and peppers – which is why summer and salsas tend to go hand in hand. Ask around, and it’ll be difficult to find even one person in the culinary academy who doesn’t love chips and salsa. Healthy, fresh, tasty and usually spicy, it’s an excellent snack that really shows off the flavors of Latin America in one delicious bite.

There are a lot of salsas you can make right at home with your chef skills too. Since tomatoes, peppers and various fruits will be everywhere in the next few weeks, give these excellent salsa ideas a try while working through your culinary arts programs.

Mango salsa: If you aren’t a big fan of spicy foods but do have a bit of a sweet tooth, this is the salsa for you. Mango is also a great seasonal product to use this summer, and blends well with cherry tomatoes, garlic and fresh cilantro. The blend of sweet, fresh and salty is the perfect combo for those balmy summer days.

Black bean and corn salsa: In late summer, fresh corn will be as ripe as ever. One affordable way to use corn is to make this hearty salsa. With black beans, corn, green peppers and red onions, this salsa is a wonderfully tasty and colorful dish that can be made as mild or hot as you like – just throw in your jalapeno slices accordingly.

Salsa verde: Tomatillos, which are green tomatoes from Mexico, are pureed with fresh lime juice and jalapenos to make this spicy salsa. Because of its kick, salsa verde is typically served atop dishes that can absorb the heat, such as tacos or burritos.

Watermelon salsa: Another fruit that’s popular in the summertime is watermelon, and when cubed, it blends perfectly into fun salsas. One excellent idea from Spark People uses watermelon, diced red onion, lime or lemon juice, fresh basil (or mint) and feta cheese. While this might not be the most traditional of salsas, it can definitely help you cool down on a hot summer day and could even be eaten as a salad with lighter fish or chicken dishes.

Red tomato salsa: You can’t go wrong with a classic red tomato salsa recipe, as it’s usually a crowd favorite for summer barbecues. There are loads of ideas to choose from, but most recipes add fresh peppers, garlic, salt, lime juice, cilantro and onion. You can add jalapenos or habeneros if you really like your salsas on the spicier side too. Red tomato salsas can also be as chunky or as smooth as you like. For instance, if you prefer a chunkier salsa, simply dice everything up, toss this ingredients together and then let it chill in the fridge while the flavors blend. You can also use a blender or food processor to blitz the ingredients together if you like a smoother salsa for tacos or burritos. Typical Mexican spices like cumin, chili powder and cayenne can also be added according to taste.

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