Monday, June 29, 2009

summer salsa

Guacamole is always my go-to party dish if I'm not feeling up for trying a new recipe. I never thought about it until recently, but I make it all the time, in all seasons. And that's not a bad thing—it can be made in one bowl and only has a handful of ingredients.

But sometimes the guac needs a companion. Usually, I reach for a jarred bottle of salsa, but a few months ago I watched America's Test Kitchen taste-test store-bought salsas and it kind of turned me off. It never occurred to me that store-bought salsa is cooked. Which...I mean, duh, Lisa. To me, salsa implies freshness. But all preserved things—even salsa—get boiled before they get jarred.

And really, how easy is it to make yourself? Very. It's just as simple as my beloved guacamole, so I am going to make an effort to make it more often.

I made this recipe with my mom in mind. She lives in Florida and every summer she gets heaps of mangoes from our uncles' overproductive mango tree. Over the years, she's come to really love mangoes and can make all kinds of things with them, in addition to eating them as is—the best way. But no matter how creative she gets (mango gelato and sorbet, mango cake, mango fruit salad) there are always a few oversized fruits sitting on the kitchen windowsill, waiting to be eaten.

When making salsa for our second picnic, I added a chopped mango into the standard tomato-onion-jalapeno mixture. Although the tomatoes were red and ripe, they weren't the fruity, juicy kinds you get later on in the summer, so I picked up a mango at the grocery store as well. My plan worked: the mango, which was delicious, helped elevate the somewhat flavorless tomatoes and made the salsa quite tasty.

Mango-tomato salsa
I regret not adding a bell pepper to this. I would add a chopped red or yellow pepper in the future and have added it to the recipe below.
(Serves 4 to 6 people)

2 large, ripe tomatoes cut into small cubes
1 large ripe mango, cut into small cubes
1/2 red onion, minced
1/2 jalapeno (or to taste), minced
1 red or yellow bell pepper, minced
1 handful cilantro minced (optional--I left this out)
1 lime, juiced
Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients except for the salt in a large bowl. Stir gently until combined. Add salt to taste. Serve immediately with tortilla chips, or you can refrigerate for up to one hour.


Anonymous said...

Mango gelato. I'm impressed.

judy said...

Didn't mean to be anonymous

Anonymous said...
added some mango to this, and
a drop of lemon extract. No
nuts for Larry :)

Lisa said...

Aw, how sweet...Moms trading recipes anonymously!

Daniel said...

To me, salsa pales in comparison to guacamole, the king of all dips. I am particularly put off when people try to make guacamole into a kind of salsa by adding chunks of tomato.

That said, this mango version was very tasty. Not sure if I'm ready for mangomole, though.

Amy said...

Adding mango to boost early season tomatoes - what a great idea!

P.S. Guac is icky. ;-)

Lisa said...

Dan: Hmmm...not sure about Mangomole.

Amy: You hate guacamole?! Do such people exist? (Kidding, kidding--I know many fellow guac haters...) Thanks for commenting.

Lindsey Slattery said...

If you hate guac, you just haven't had it made correctly! My mom used to love my homemade salsa, so when she came to visit one night, I made a small thing of guac for me and salsa for her...she tried the guac and I think I only ended up getting one bite!

Lisa said...

Hi Lindsay! Isn't it great when you can convince someone to like something they thought they hated? Especially guacamole!

Ainslie said...

Suggestion for Mangos: If you like yogurt you can make your own mango yogurt. Use non-fat plain yogurt, diced mangos, and a bit of honey to sweeten the yogurt. It's way better than store bought yogurt with a ton of sugar.

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