Bust out your molcajete and raise a chip: May is National Salsa Month. While some may think of salsa as red, served in a jar, and available in mild, medium, and hot, Latin Americans revere salsa and celebrate its vastly nuanced variations. Made with fresh, seasonal ingredients and customized to suit any taste, mood, or occasion, salsas can be a beautiful and gourmet dish. From zesty to spicy to smoky to sweet, salsa is perfect on eggs, with veggies, atop chicken and fish, and in beans and soups. Salsas are, in fact, incredibly versatile.
To celebrate National Salsa Month (don't you just love food holidays?), whip up a few batches and have a taste test. Don't forget to load up on our favorite salsa bowls! Enjoy!
Salsa doesn’t have to clobber you with spice in order to be authentic. Conversely, it shouldn't be bland. Rather, salsa should enhance the natural flavors of the dish it accompanies. This Creamy Avocado Salsa does just that. Mildly piquant and easy to make, it is absolutely delicious on fried tostadas, chalupas, gorditas and flautas. It's also a great sandwich spread or dip for cold shrimp. We even like it on our eggs!
Gorgeous, honey sweet pineapples are in every produce market these days. Peeled, cored and chopped for your convenience, it would be a crime to pass them over for jarred salsa. Making Salsa de Piña couldn’t be easier. Of course, we love it on Camarones de Coco, but add a spoonful to your next fish taco or even your pork carnitas, and you will be hooked. Make it a day ahead and let the flavors marry. (Salsa gets hotter when left overnight.)
Tomatillos are small, green tomato-looking chiles that come wrapped in a papery husk. They are relatively mild and if you don’t like heat, you can omit the serrano or jalapeño and proceed with the recipe. Here, they are roasted until tender and smoky and blended with garlic, cilantro, and onion for a classic tomatillo salsa.
Even though this salsa is ready to eat the minute you blend it, you can always opt to heat it for a minute or two in the microwave before you serve it. Add a spoonful to a saucepan of canned beans for a spicier side dish or stir together equal parts mayonnaise and salsa to make a chipotle mayo for sandwiches and burgers.
Here's a delicious alternative to traditional salsa: tangy tomatillos and sweet green apples are roasted until bursting and then tossed with garlic, onion, and chile.
Made with one of the world's hottest peppers, moruga chiles, this spicy salsa isn't for the faint of heart. (If you can't handle the heat - and few can - sub in your favorite chile.) Here, chiles are roasted with tomatoes and tomatillos then blended and topped with fresh, fragrant cilantro.