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Salsa Building Blocks
Salsa Building Blocks

Salsa Building Blocks

There are no hard-set rules for salsa making. Just begin with a traditional base of tomatoes or tomatillos, or a more creative one of pineapple, sweet potato, mango, carrot or whatever you have on hand.

Next, you’ll need something for some heat, such as fresh or dried peppers. Charring or roasting peppers brings out a smoky flavor.

Then add traditional ingredients such as onion, garlic, salt and pepper. While cilantro is a standard addition, you can veer off to try mint, basil, oregano or other herbs. You may want to add a bit of oil into your salsa, too.

Texture is chef’s choice; for a smooth salsa, prepare in a blender, but if you prefer chunky salsa, hand-chop the ingredients. For a compromise, blend only half the ingredients. You can leave the ingredients raw for a bright, fresh flavor, or cook for a deeper, sweeter taste.

While assembling your salsa, think about balancing the colors and the textures, as well as the flavors such as sweet, spicy, salty, sour and savory. Use a splash of lemon and/or lime, a drizzle of honey, a handful of roasted corn kernels, or shredded radish or cabbage.

A Sampling of Salsa Suggestions

  • Pomegranate, Mango & Black Bean
  • Fresh Cherry
  • Grilled Zucchini
  • Jalapeño-Corn
  • Grilled Pineapple & Poblano

Ways to Use Salsa

  • Spice up shrimp, chicken or pork
  • Top pancakes with a sweet salsa rendition
  • Incorporate into omelets
  • Liven up boring burgers
  • Kick up your casseroles
  • Customize tacos, burritos or quesadilla dip
  • Jazz up slow cooker meals
  • Next-level baked potatoes
  • Provide unique chili choices
  • Create flavorful marinades

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