Salsa! Like any good condiment — ketchup, mustard, soy sauce, sriracha, horseradish, kimchi, hot sauce, chutney, etc… — we’ve all got a jarred version in the cupboard that we turn to when needed to cover up a dish that would otherwise be a mistake. But a good condiment shouldn’t just enhance our food, it should also be good enough to stand alone.
Salsa, of course, just means sauce, and can come in many varieties. At their best, they’re straight-forward to make, but their beauty is in the abundance of fresh local ingredients available this time of year. Here are my four favorite recipes using the season’s great tomatoes, tomatillos, avocados, corn and more…
Just like Garth Brooks, Romeo can’t have the Mango. He used to be able to consume the divinely delicious fruit to his heart’s delight, but he OD’ed on mango during a tropical hiking trip some years back (in which at every pit stop he picked mangoes from low-hanging branches, peeled and devoured them.) Legend has it that on that journey Romeo ate a full 15 mangoes in the space of 12 hours. Romeo’s lovely face swelled up to twice its original size, he ran a dangerously high fever, and he developed painful blisters inside his mouth. Some thought it was an allergic reaction to the mango. Others suspected Romeo was the victim of a chupacabra or a voodoo curse.
Unfortunately, it was the Mango. Romeo has tried mango and mango products since and always suffers similarly grotesque results (never quite as bad as the first time). Out of deference to Romeo’s sensitivity I do not partake in mangoes around him (I even forgo that nectar-of-the-gods commonly known as the mango lassi in subcontinental restaurants when we dine together) and I restrain myself from preparing dishes featuring mangoes in our kitchen. Ah, the sacrifices we make for love.
But when I was invited to an island-themed potluck recently, on a night when Romeo was otherwise occupied, I couldn’t resist the temptation of the mango. I CAN have the Mango damnit, and so can you! Sorry Romeo ?! (And sorry Liza, I know how much you hate it when a fruit is the MVI of a dish.)
The easy, delicious, and refreshing mango salsa recipe for the rest of us after the jump….