Photo by Judith Hausman
This easy and versatile sauce is one of those recipes every cook customizes. Make your own signature version with very nearly any soft fruit (watermelon, strawberries) and nearly any pepper, depending on what you enjoy. You can start with a milder pepper and adjust it with a few drops of hot sauce to increase the heat.
The herbs are flexible as well. Cilantro is more or less traditional but some people taste this herb as soapy, so mint and basil can stand in deliciously for it. If you still have garlic scapes around, use a chopped one instead of a scallion or red onion.
The salsa makes use of a savory-sweet mix of the height of the season bounty and can be served simply with corn chips or, more elaborately, with grilled swordfish or chicken. I’ll serve it with cumin-spiced, grilled lamb burgers tonight.
Use very ripe fruit and a firmer tomato so the salsa won’t be too watery. If you make it at least a few hours in advance, the flavors will meld better but you may also need to drain off some liquid before serving.
Recipe: Peach-Corn Salsa
Yield: about 2 cups
- 2 medium peaches or nectarines, diced
- 1 medium tomato, diced
- 2-3 tablespoons red onion or 1 scallion, minced
- kernels cut from one ear of cooked corn
- 1 medium hot pepper, such as banana, poblano or Hungarian wax, de-seeded and minced
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, mint and/or basil, minced (optional)
- salt, to taste
- hot sauce (optional)
Mix all ingredients. Season to taste.