Food & Drink

BUNGALOW KITCHEN: Strawberry salsa pairs sweet with heat

Late spring is here, and no piece of produce is more indicative of this particular time of year than the strawberry.

Drive any direction heading outside of city life and you’ll find signs pointing you to strawberry fields where you can pick as many red berries as you like. You may even sneak a few off the plant for a sun-kissed snack.

Strawberries picked off the plant have an intense flavor unlike their grocery store counterparts, which are often watery and tasteless. The fresh-picked berries are red throughout and are incredibly fragrant.

While strawberries are great on their own or on salads, I’d like to propose a different vehicle for your strawberry abundance: strawberry salsa. This sweeter salsa is similar to a mango or peach salsa, and it still has the heat from the jalapeno pepper and the sharp flavor of the thinly sliced onion and cilantro.

Strawberry salsa is delicious with tortilla chips, but it’s also a great condiment for grilled fish and chicken. This cool, refreshing salsa pairs well with grilled meat because of the heat contrast as well as the sweet-to-savory ratio. It’s also visually appealing, and since we eat with our eyes first this would be a great way to entertain at your next summer grill session with friends.

Strawberry Salsa

1 quart strawberries, preferably locally picked

1 fresh jalapeno pepper

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

juice and zest of two limes

1/2 medium red onion

1/4 teaspoon salt

Slice the tops off of the strawberries, then give them a small dice; strawberry pieces should be the size of small beans. Place the strawberry pieces in a medium mixing bowl, then add the chopped cilantro. Peel the red onion and slice and dice the onion into rice-sized pieces, then add to the mixing bowl. Next, slice the top off of the pepper, then slice in lengthwise and remove the seeds. Slice it into long, thin pieces, then finely dice the pepper and place it in the mixing bowl. Zest the two limes into the bowl, then slice both limes and squeeze the juice into the bowl. Add the salt, mix to combine, and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Serve with chips or on top of grilled chicken or fish. Salsa keeps for an additional 3 days in the refrigerator.