5 Super Summer Salsas

By Stepfanie Romine, for SparkPeople

Though most of us think chips when you hear the word salsa, it's really quite a healthy, versatile condiment. Spoon fresh salsa over grilled meats, cooked whole wheat pasta, or even plain yogurt. And no one ever said your salsa had to be just tomatoes, onions, and peppers. You can make salsa with any combo of fruits, veggies, herbs, and spices.

Tips for making great salsa

  • Choose the freshest ingredients possible.
  • To control the heat of the salsa, remove the inner ribs and seeds of all peppers. Remember to wear gloves or wash your hands just as soon as you finish the task.
  • Use a meaty tomato for salsa such as Roma, grape, or cherry tomatoes.
  • You can make salsa in winter, too. Just use canned tomatoes. Be sure to select a no-salt variety and drain the excess liquid before using.
  • If you are using a food processor to make your salsa, use the pulse mode. If you process too much, your salsa will become gazpacho!
    • Chef Meg's general rule of thumb for a salsa ratio is: 2 parts main ingredient
    • 1 part contrasting ingredient
    • 1 part acid and/or herbs
  • For example, a traditional salsa contains tomatoes, peppers, onions, vinegar, and herbs. The rule would be 2 parts tomato, 1 part peppers and onions, and one part vinegar with fresh herbs.
  • This isn't a time for exact measurements. Be creative. Salsa recipes are very forgiving, so adjust as needed!

diced mango (Main flavor)
diced red onions (Contrasting flavor)
lime juice and zest (Acid)
Ancho chili powder and fresh cilantro (Herbs/Spices)

diced plums (Main flavor)
diced onions (Contrasting flavor)
lime juice and zest (Acid)
fresh cilantro or basil (Herbs/Spices)

Spicy Cucumber
diced cucumber (Main flavor)
diced yellow tomatoes and jalapeno (Contrasting flavor)
lime or lemon juice (Acid)
fresh cilantro (Herbs/Spices)

chopped strawberries (Main flavor)
diced kiwi and other tropical fruit (Contrasting flavor)
lime juice and zest (Acid)
poppy seeds (Herbs/Spices)

Two Bean
cannellini (white kidney) and black beans (Main flavor)
diced red onion and tomatoes (Contrasting flavor)
lemon juice (Acid)
garlic and fresh parsley (Herbs/Spices)

What do you like to put in your salsa?

Related links:

Get Savvy about Salsa

Guilt-Free Mexican-Style Recipes

No-Cook, No-Fat Summer Flavor Boosters

SparkRecipes.com editor Stepfanie Romine is a certified yoga teacher and co-author of "The SparkPeople Cookbook: Love Your Food, Lose the Weight." A vegetarian and runner, she has lived and cooked on three continents.