A salsa is more like a small salad than a condiment, although I use it either way. It’s a great addition to grilled meats, be they fish or fowl, beef, lamb or pig. It goes equally well as a side to a Mexican inspired meal, tucked into a taco, or as a fresh and healthy dip for less fresh and healthy tortilla chips.
Technically, a salsa these days seems to mean any kind of raw salad, generally with very finely chopped vegetables. Salsa literally means sauce (as per salsa verde – green sauce). I am a bit of a puritan here, preferring Mexican flavours in my salsa.
The base ingredients are generally the same (at least when I make it). Some finely chopped red onion, coriander, fresh chilli (the quantity depends on how hot you like it) and lime juice. Matched up with whichever Latin style vegetables or fruits you desire.
Tomatoes, capsicum (red, yellow or green), cucumber, avocadoes, fresh corn, black beans, tomatillo
Pineapple, mango, peaches, nectarines, papaya, strawberries
There’s some other great ideas for salsa in this piece by the New York Times. Their definition extends to grilled and pureed sauces, which all provides excellent inspiration.
Or try my recipe for Pineapple Salsa.
1/2 cup fresh pineapple, cut into very small dice
1/2 cup cucumber, cut into very small dice
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
1/2 red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped
Handful coriander leaves, finely chopped
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- Mix all ingedients together in a bowl
- Season with salt and pepper
- Chill before serving