Happy Cinco de Mayo, Triangle! Seems appropriate, since we’re in the midst of strawberry season, to include strawberries in the day’s celebration. Last spring, I discovered a few strawberry salsa recipes, and fell in deep *like* with the blend of sweet strawberries, spicy dressing, and salty, crunchy chips. I tried a variety of dressing ingredients, using pantry items on hand, and I think I’ve settled on the *honey-jalapeño balsamic-lime juice-hot sauce* combo. But check your pantry. Exercise your mixology skills, to find the right blend for you.
- 1 pint local, organic strawberries (thanks Hilltop Farms!), smallish dice – I find less ripe, firmer berries work best
- 2 spring onions (again mucho gracias to Hilltop Farms), chop the whole onion, green through white bulb
- Scant 2 tbsp honey (love my local honey from Shamrock’s Buzzy Bee)
- 2 tsp jalapeño balsamic vinegar (purchased at Blue Sky Oil & Vinegar) – you could add some finely chopped actual jalapeños if you’d like a little extra kick.
- 1 tsp lime juice
- 1/4 to 1 tsp of your favorite hot sauce, add in just a bit at a time, to taste
- Wash strawberries, removing caps, and dice the berries, somewhere between medium and small. Place the berries in a bowl.
- Chop the spring onions, then mix in with the berries. All that red and green looks festive already, doesn’t it?
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the honey, vinegar, lime juice and hot sauce until well blended. Taste the dressing, and add a little more hot sauce, if you think you can stand the heat.
- Pour dressing over the berries & onions, then toss gently until well mixed.
- Serve immediately with your favorite crunchy tortilla chips.
Personally, I think this salsa would be a hit at parties. Though not a good “make ahead” option, because the strawberries will release their juices and become a bit mushy in a relatively short time, you could chop the strawberries, chop the onions, and mix the dressing in advance, keeping each part of the whole separate, until ready to serve.
And in case you over do it with the hot stuff (like I have… once upon a time), you can tame the heat with a bit of cool, soft cheese (Sweet Ash from Hillsborough Cheese Co. worked wonders). Serve a dollop of extra-spicy strawberry salsa atop a slice of soft cheese and toasted baguette, for an entirely new strawberry salsa experience.
Strawberry season’s not with us for long, so make certain you make good use of this versatile beauty in the very near future. Enjoy!