Five Quick Salsas
The main recipe here is for a basic pico de gallo (you might call it salsa fresca), but all of these are great on top of vegetables, meat, or grain dishes – or eaten with a spoon. And given that many fruit-herb-acid combinations are delicious, they're open to endless variation. Remember, though, that they're all best when made with perfectly ripe, seasonal fruit. (Colorful garden tomatoes are particularly gorgeous.) When out of season, you're better off using drained canned tomatoes, fresh oranges, tangerines, grapefruits, avocados, or even grated butternut squash.
2 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
½ large white or red onion or 2 medium scallions, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic, or to taste
1 fresh hot chile (like habanero or jalapeño), seeded and minced, or to taste
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
Salt and black pepper
1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, taste, and adjust the seasoning
2. Let the mixture rest for 15 to 30 minutes if possible to allow the flavors to meld.
Yield: 2 cups
Peach Salsa. Use 3 medium peaches (peeled if you like) in place of the tomatoes, minced ginger instead of the garlic, and orange juice instead of the lime juice.
Green Apple-Cucumber Salsa. Substitute 2 large Granny Smith apples for the tomatoes, ½ cup chopped cucumber for the garlic, and lemon juice for the lime juice. Use fresh mint in place of the cilantro.
Tomatillo-Black Bean Salsa. Substitute 2 cups chopped tomatillos for the tomatoes and add 1 cup cooked or canned black beans. Let sit for at least half an hour before serving so the beans soak up the other flavors.
Corn Salsa. Fresh or dried cherries are a nice addition here. Use 2 cups corn kernels (thawed frozen are fine) instead of the tomatoes. Roast or grill the corn first if you like.
Recipe from The Food Matters Cook Book by Mark Bittman.