Yesss! It's finally strawberry season. What better way to celebrate than with a new version of salsa! I've combined fresh spearmint, basil, cilantro, scallions and jalapeno with a touch of lemon zest and smoked salt for a perfectly satisfying bite.
Most of the time when strawberries are in season they don't last long enough for me to think beyond wash and eat! Is there anything better than popping them in your mouth when they're juicy, sweet and still warm from the sun?? Perhaps not, but this year I wanted to try something different... something beyond strawberry shortcake.
Strawberries don't need to be limited to sweet (and often sugar-laden) applications. By contrasting their beautiful color and natural sweetness with fresh herbs, zesty peppers, mild green onions, lemons and a hint of smoked salt they make a surprisingly brilliant salsa.
Total Time: 15 minutes Prep Time: 15 minutes PRINT HERE
Here's what you need for about 4 cups of salsa:
1 quart ripe strawberries (~ 1 lb)
1 large jalapeno, or two smaller ones
3 green onions, green & white parts
1 large lemon
1 small bunch fresh basil
1 small bunch fresh spearmint
1 small bunch cilantro
pinch of smoked salt
1. Wash and dry the produce and herbs.
2. Hull the strawberries, cut into small dice [see note regarding Strawberry Salad option] and slide them into a pretty container.
3. Thinly slice the green onions on the bias. Add these to the strawberries.
4. Seed and devein the jalapeno if you want less heat. I find jalapenos fairly mild and like the contrast with the sweet strawberries, so I include the seeds and veins. Dice small, add to the strawberries.
5. De-stem the spearmint and basil, chiffonade along with the cilantro. Add to the strawberries.
6. Using a zesting tool or microplane, zest the lemon into the bowl of berries. If using a zesting tool, give the ribbons of zest a quick rough chop before adding to the bowl.
7. Juice the lemon into a separate bowl, removing any seeds if necessary. Pour the juice over the berries.
8. Add a pinch of smoked salt. Give everything a gentle toss and chill until ready to serve.*
* Both salt and sugar will draw water from fresh produce. In the case of sugar, a sweet syrup results - perfect for strawberry shortcake. However, this is less desirable for a fresh salsa. A pinch of salt begins the process. Just before serving, taste and add a pinch more if needed. This salsa is best eaten the day it is made.
For a Strawberry Salad option, cut the berries in half or in quarters instead of dicing. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp. aged balsamic and serve over a bed of baby spinach, spring greens or smoky arugula.
Nutrition information is for 1/2 cup of salsa.
If you make this recipe, I'd love to hear how you and your family, friends or guests liked it! Snap a photo and tag me too, #chefcatherinebrown. I love seeing what you make!
DISCLOSURES: None. This post was not created in affiliation with any product or brand. The opinions expressed are my own. I will only write about products I use and trust.
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