Beyond Tomatoes: Five Fresh Spins on Salsa

Katie Workman, author of The Mom 100 Cookbook and creator of themom100.com blog, offers up 5 new spins on everyone's favorite appetizer, sauce and condiment: salsa

Salsas became crazy popular in the U.S. years ago, but because they taste so good their popularity never waned. Salsa means “sauce” in Spanish, and the most basic version is chopped fresh tomatoes, onions, and some kind of chili, maybe some lemon or lime juice as well. It’s commonly served with chips before a meal, but you should absolutely think of salsa as a condiment for all kinds of dishes, from a burger to scallops, and you should definitely think beyond tomatoes.

 

Pineapple Mint Jalapeno Salsa

Pineapple Mint Jalapeno Salsa

Katie Workman

This so, so pretty yellow and green salsa is truly refreshing, even with the kick from the jalapenos (and of course the amount of jalapeno can be adjusted as desired). Try this atop quesadillas, or a simply grilled chicken breast, next to teriyaki beef skewers, or a scoop on a pulled pork sandwich is something to behold. Or just serve it with pita chips for a bright appetizer. If you don’t feel like neatly dicing the ingredients, just give them a rough chop – it might not look as elegant but it will taste exactly the same.

Get the recipePineapple Mint Jalapeno Salsa

Corn Cucumber Cantaloupe Salsa

Corn Cucumber Cantaloupe Salsa

Katie Workman

This is a sweet and savory salsa, and can be made with either fresh or frozen corn, so it’s a year-round option, though it is chock full of ingredients that are bountiful at the height of summer. The combo may sound weird, but it’s one of those try-it-and-you’ll-see kind of recipes. You can serve it as a condiment with anything from salmon to herb-grilled chicken, or double the amount and it becomes more of a chopped salad.

Get the recipeCorn Cucumber Cantaloupe Salsa

Herbed Roasted and Raw Tomato Salsa with Olives

Herbed Roasted and Raw Tomato Salsa with Olives

Katie Workman

Most tomato salsas are made with uncooked tomatoes, and delicious just the way they are, but roasting some of them concentrates the sugars and flavors. And then when the two are combined you get the freshness of the raw tomatoes, and the depth of the cooked ones. Not a bad layering of flavors. You need to add very little else to make this salsa amazing –skip the olives if they aren’t your thing. Use any combo of tomatoes that you have available to you. Fabulous with tortilla chips, of course, or piled on bruschetta. Also perfect alongside grilled swordfish, or chicken, or a steak.

Get the recipe: Herbed Roasted and Raw Tomato Salsa with Olives

Citrusy Mango Ginger Salsa

Citrusy Mango Ginger Salsa

Katie Workman

Mango salsas sometimes appear as fresh counterpoints to Caribbean dishes, but this is such a juicy and sweet and flavorful condiment it can dress up the simplest piece of grilled or pan-seared pork or fish or chicken. You can play around with any combination of citrus juices or zest, and dial up the amount of ginger and red pepper flakes as you like to bump up the heat.

Get the recipeCitrusy Mango Ginger Salsa

Peach and Roasted Red Pepper Salsa

Peach and Roasted Red Pepper Salsa

Katie Workman

This is a gorgeous sweet and piquant salsa. Try it with slices of roast turkey around the holidays (especially great if you want to brighten up leftovers). You can roast the peppers in the oven or on the grill. You could also halve and pit the peaches and give them a quick spin on the grill, not to fully soften them, but just to give them some nice grill marks and get those juices going a bit more (especially if they are not perfectly ripe).

Get the recipe: Peach and Roasted Red Pepper Salsa

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