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ERIN SULLEY: Summer strawberry salsa

’Tis the season for picking strawberries. Whether you grow your own, visit a U-pick or pick up a basket at the grocery store, strawberries are a must-have in the summer. They are incredibly juicy, sweet and refreshing. It’s hard not to dig in as soon as you have them in hand, especially when they are perfectly ripe.

“Do you know what happens when a strawberry tries to cross the road? Usually a traffic jam.” – Unknown

This is my first year growing strawberries, thanks to a co-worker (thanks, Nicole) who gave me some plants. Strawberries grow wild and free and have a mind of their own. I didn’t want them to take over the entire garden so I planted them in big containers on the patio. Considering this is the first year, I don’t have an abundance of berries, but I get enough to add a few here and there in a morning yogurt, or with vanilla ice cream on a hot summer’s day.

There are differing opinions on new plants. Some people don’t pick them in the first year. In fact, some pop the flowers off and wait until Year 2. Then, there’s people like me who have no willpower whatsoever and eat them as soon as they are ripe. The only thing I have found is that they are tart rather than completely sweet. Don’t get me wrong, they are still edible.

When I came across a recipe for strawberry salsa recently, I got really excited because I hadn’t made it before and the ingredients spoke to my taste buds. Especially since I just devoured my second jar of mango salsa. Fruity salsa is the best for a light snack before supper, during happy hour, or a munch in the afternoon outside on the patio.

This may be the easiest recipe. It will take all of 15 minutes to make.

“I only have to break into the tightness of a strawberry, and I see summer — its dusk and lowering skies.” – Toni Morrison

Like all salsas, strawberry salsa is extremely versatile. I don’t have a “must have” to serve it with, it all depends on what I have around the house. However, I do prefer a crunch like nacho chips, toasted pita chips or crackers. If you don’t have the crunch on hand, take a few slices of bread, flatten with a rolling pin and coat it in olive oil, and place in the broiler for a few minutes and let cool. Perfecto! Homemade toasts for dipping.

If you’re wondering what you can serve with strawberry salsa, other than chips, the list is long. You can serve it with a protein like steak, chicken or pork. You can serve it over ice cream (my personal fave), over tacos or use it as a chutney.

“What do you call a sad strawberry? A blue berry.” – Unknown

To make strawberry salsa, you’re going to need two cups of diced strawberries, half a cup of diced red onion, two tablespoons of diced jalapeño, one tablespoon of cilantro, one teaspoon of lime zest, 2 tablespoons of white balsamic vinegar, half a teaspoon of salt, quarter teaspoon of pepper and two teaspoons of sugar.

This may be the easiest recipe. It will take all of 15 minutes to make. Put all of the ingredients in a bowl and stir it up. Do a taste test — that’s the most important part. If it’s not sweet enough for you, add more sugar. You can serve this right away. However, I do like to make it ahead of time to let all the flavours blend together.

This is one of many strawberry salsa recipes you can make. If you want, you can add to it. Perhaps you’d like to add ingredients like avocado, mango, peaches or kiwi.

“Advice from a strawberry: Blossom when you are planted. Be tasteful. Drink the sunshine. Keep close to the earth. Savour life’s sweetness. Let good ideas ripen. Jam with your friends!” — Unknown

I’m super excited for you to try this, that is, if you haven’t already. Either way, there’s nothing better than a fresh and tasty treat on a warm summer’s day. Given we get those days few and far in-between, I hope you’re enjoying them to the fullest. Strawberry salsa is definitely fit to eat and it should definitely be on our summer’s menu.

Erin Sulley is a self-confessed foodie who lives in Mount Pearl. Email Twitter: @ErinSulley Instagram: @erinsulley


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