This strawberry salsa recipe has been haunting me since I spied it in Andrea Bemis’ new cookbook, Dishing Up the Dirt. She also has a blog of the same name. Fair warning: Her beautiful work may inspire you to leave your work and become a farmer.
I thought I’d have to wait a while longer to make it, but I came across the most gorgeous organic strawberries yesterday. Would you just look at those leafy tops? Strawberry salsa was meant to be.
If strawberries seem strange in salsa, consider that tomatoes are also technically fruit. Using strawberries instead is a fun way to change up salsa and Caprese salad iterations, not to mention pizza.
Unfortunately, my strawberries weren’t quite as ripe and juicy on the inside as they appeared to be on the outside. I snapped these photos regardless and let the salsa rest while I went to yoga. When I came back, I was greeted with delicious, juicy strawberry salsa—the lime, honey and salt just needed some time to work their magic.
This strawberry salsa is a beautiful party appetizer or snack, and it’s as flavorful as it is colorful. I’ll definitely be making more batches of it before (and after) ripe summer tomatoes hit the market. I enjoyed my salsa with chips, but I imagine it would be great on crostini, too—maybe with some feta mixed in, or with goat cheese or ricotta layered in between.
You might also be compelled to go at it with a fork (I guess civilized people would call this “salad”). Be sure to check out Andrea’s book for more fresh, seasonal cooking inspiration. It’s an absolute stunner!
- Juice and zest from 1 medium lime
- 1 1/2 teaspoons honey or maple syrup
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- 1 pint of strawberries, hulled and diced
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped (use a smaller jalapeño for less heat, or leave in some seeds for more heat)
- 1/2 small red onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Chips for serving
- In a large bowl, whisk together the lime juice and zest, honey and salt. Stir in the strawberries, jalapeño, onion and cilantro. Add pepper, to taste, and mix well. Adjust the seasonings if need be (you might like a little more lime for acidity, honey for sweetness, or salt if it's just not quite right yet).
- If your strawberries are nice and juicy, you can serve immediately, with chips. My salsa needed some time to marinate before it was juicy and awesome (about 30 minutes should do it). Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Why buy organic? Strawberries are at the top of the dirty dozen list and jalapeños are also of concern. Citrus zest can be contaminated with pesticides so I always try to use organic citrus when zest is involved.
Make it vegan: Use maple syrup instead of honey.
Andrea's tip: "When chopping fresh herbs like cilantro, dill and parsley, there's no need to separate the leaves from the tender stems—chop everything! The stems offer a lot of flavor and texture. If the herb has a woody stem, like rosemary or thyme, gently remove the leaves before chopping."