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Market Fresh: Try these summer salsas


Anne Freeze



Summertime entertaining and salsa go together like, well, chips and salsa. With all of the fresh ingredients available at the Hitching Lot Farmers' Market in Columbus and other area farmers' markets, now is the time to forsake the jarred version and put a little love into the bowl. 


The following recipes make use of what you can find now. The beauty of these recipes is that you can make changes to adapt it to suit your tastes or your pantry. Don't like cilantro? No problem, leave it out. Instead, add a little parsley or mint for color and flavor. Substitute local peaches for mango; local green onions for red onion. It really won't make a difference to your guests, but will warm the hearts of the farmers' market vendors. All of these salsas will also do double duty in the kitchen. Use the fruit versions on grilled fish or shrimp. The grilled corn salsa would be fabulous on tacos or sliced steak. The roasted tomato recipe is delicious on scrambled eggs. All of these recipes benefit from resting time in the refrigerator before serving.  


Have fun with these and make them your own! 








10 large ears corn, husked 


1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing 


Salt and pepper 


8 tomatoes, about 1 pound total 


1 cup diced red onion, 1/4-inch dice 


4 tablespoons red wine vinegar 


1/2 cup julienne fresh basil leaves 




  • Brush the corn liberally with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Grill, turning every few minutes, until light gold all over and cooked, about 12 minutes. Let cool, and cut off the kernels.  


  • Core the tomatoes and cut a small X on the bottom of each. Brush with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and place on the grill, X side down, away from direct heat. Cover the grill and cook until the tomatoes begin to soften but are not cooked all the way through (or they will melt through the grate!), about 15 minutes.  


  • Set aside until cool enough to handle, then peel. Cut the tomatoes in half crosswise and squeeze out the juice and the seeds through a sieve into a bowl. Reserve the juices and chop the flesh. (You can also use the tomatoes raw, unroasted). 


  • Put the onions in a non-reactive medium bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of the vinegar. Let marinate until the color changes, about 10 minutes. 


  • Add chopped tomatoes, reserved tomato juice, onions, basil and 1/3 cup olive oil to the corn. Toss well. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt, pepper and remaining vinegar.  


    (Source: The Food Network, Michael Chiarello) 








    Zest of 1 lime 


    1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from about 3 limes) 


    1 tablespoon sugar 


    Freshly ground pepper 


    3 cups seeded and finely chopped watermelon 


    1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced 


    1 mango, peeled and diced 


    1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced 


    1 small red onion, finely chopped 


    8 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped 


    1/2 teaspoon garlic salt 




  • Stir together the lime zest, lime juice, sugar and 3/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl. Add the watermelon, cucumber, mango, jalapeno, onion and basil and toss gently. Add the garlic salt just before serving.  








    3 ripe peaches, peeled and chopped 


    1/4 cup red onion, diced small 


    1/4 cup red bell pepper, seeded and diced small 


    1/2-1 jalapeno, minced 


    1 tablespoon minced fresh mint 


    Juice from 1/2 lime 


    Salt, to taste 




  • Combine ingredients and chill. 








    8 ripe tomatoes, cored 


    3 Serrano peppers, minced 


    3 tablespoons vegetable oil 


    1 medium white onion, chopped 


    1/2 teaspoon salt 


    1/8 teaspoon pepper 




  • Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Roast tomatoes for 20-30 minutes until they are soft and skins are wrinkled. 


  • Blend or puree tomatoes with Serrano peppers to a coarse puree. 


  • Heat oil over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently until edges begin to brown. Add pureed tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cover and cook over medium-low stirring occasionally 10-15 minutes for flavors to blend. 


    (Note: I have taken many liberties with this recipe. I use mix of tomatoes and tomatillos, which I toss in ground cumin before roasting. I roast onions and also use some raw. I throw a clove of garlic on to roast. The above recipe is a base to improve upon.)



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