Strawberry Season Hack: Make Strawberry Salsa

Break out your favorite dippers for a summery salsa with a berry twist.

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Bump strawberries from the dessert menu to appetizer with a zippy salsa that celebrates summer’s first-to-ripen berry. These sweet berries makes a fantastic salsa that delivers a just-right bite of sweet and zesty. Strawberry salsa comes together quickly using garden-fresh ingredients you can grow yourself, including berries, cilantro, green onions and peppers.

The fresh flavors of strawberry salsa taste terrific with traditional dippers, like tortilla, pita or corn chips and also pair beautifully with sweet cinnamon crisps. Or skip the chips and use your berry salsa on grilled chicken, fish or pork. Serve it on crostini with a mild or smoky cheese for a heavenly nibble. If you just can’t shake that dessert craving, sub strawberry salsa in your go-to shortcake prep. Ready to turn your strawberry cravings into a can’t-resist salsa? Here’s how.

Strawberry Salsa Ingredients

  • 1 pint strawberries, capped and cut into 1/4-inch diced
  • 1-2 green onions, minced (use a bit of the green for color)
  • zest of 1 lime
  • juice of 1 lime (roughly 1 1/2-2 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet pepper (gold or orange)
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Measurements are approximate—you can add as much of each ingredient based on what flavors appeal to you. Make as much or as little salsa as you want by simply adjusting amounts.

Instructions

1: Clean and chop strawberries, onions, pepper and cilantro. Mix in a bowl.

2: Add lime zest and juice. Stir.

3: Add salt and pepper, adjusting seasoning to suit your palate.

4: Let ingredients sit for 30 minutes to allow flavors to meld. Stir before serving.

Yield is roughly 4 to 6 servings. Store salsa in an airtight container for up to 3 days (if it lasts that long!). Flavors continue to blend and develop in storage, delivering a delicious, changing bite.

Prep Options

- For a hot salsa, use 1 jalapeno pepper in place of the sweet. Include seeds to turn up the sizzle.

- If berries are especially tart or you’re prepping the salsa for a shortcake stand-in, sweeten the bite by adding honey or brown sugar to taste.

- Twist the salsa toward a sweet-tart blend by subbing balsamic vinegar for lime juice. Omit onion, pepper and cilantro, and instead add chopped mint and/or basil.

Strawberry Buying Tips

Bright color. Choose berries with classic red color from stem to tip. White spots indicate underripe berries. These work okay in salsa and actually deliver a firmer bite—they’re just not very sweet (plan to add honey or other sweetener).

Green tops. Stems and green leaves on berries should be fresh and a healthy green shade. Wilting, moldy or brown leaves are a clue that berries are old.

Sweet smell. Ripe strawberries have a wonderful fragrance that makes you want to take a bite. You can really discover the difference if you pick your berries or get them from a farmstand.

Firm flesh. Berries with soft spots or bruised areas don’t hold up well in salsa. They’ll turn to juice as soon as salt hits them.

Big or small. Berry size doesn’t really affect flavor. This is one berry creation where shape uniformity isn’t important.

Check the container. Whether buying berries at a farmers’ market or store, inspect the bottom and sides of the container for wet, juicy spots. Leaky berries may just be packed too tightly (that means bruising) or overripe. Don’t buy these.

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