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Five Variations on Peach Salsa

There are a million and one ways to make peach salsa. All you need are diced ripe but firm peaches, peeled or unpeeled; diced bell peppers and/or onion; an acidic liquid of some sort, either fruit juice or vinegar; and, if you donít want to stop there, a handful of some other pungent or flavorful ingredient, from the spicy (chipotles, for instance) to the sweet (such as honey).  Proportions of peaches to other ingredients can vary about as widely as the array of ingredients that can go into the mixture, all of which suggests that thereís hardly any point in following a recipe.  Just start chopping and mixing, and when the salsa looks and tastes about right, let it sit for at least an hour or so to allow the juices and flavors to blend, and eat.

Below, you'll find five variations on peach salsa (and here, you'll find a sixth), with instructions applicable to all at the bottom of the ingredient lists. You could mix and match ingredients from any of these recipes to create a variant of your own.

Basic Peach Salsa

2 ripe, but firm medium peaches
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup diced red and/or green bell pepper
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon (or to taste) minced jalapeno pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
fresh ground black pepper to taste

Peach-Cucumber Salsa

2 cups diced peaches (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 cup diced unpeeled English hothouse cucumber
3/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons apricot preserves
1 teaspoon chopped canned chipotle chiles

Peach-Tomato Salsa

3 firm peaches (about 1 lb.)
1 tablespoons. lemon juice
2 ripe tomatoes (about 1/2 lb.)
6 large green onions
1 tablespoons canned jalapeno peppers, chopped
1 tablespoon cilantro, coarsely chopped
12 tablespoons good quality olive oil
6 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons honey

Peach-Mint Salsa

2 ripe peaches, diced
1 small red pepper; chopped
1/2 red onion; chopped
1 small jalapeno pepper; minced
1/3 cup pineapple juice
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh chopped mint

Peach-Ginger Salsa

1 cup diced peaches (about 2)
1 cup cubed seeded tomato (about 3)
1/4 cup sliced green onions
2 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger  
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 dash of fresh ground pepper

Preparation:

1. Cut the peaches into half-inch cubes, sweet peppers into somewhat smaller dice, chop any cilantro, finely chop any onions and mince any especially pungent ingredients, such as jalapenos, chipotles or ginger.

2. Blend any oils and fruit juices or vinegars together before combining with other ingredients.

3. If you care to peel your peaches and/or tomatoes (a step that is not at all necessary), plunging them into boiling water for 15 or 20 seconds will make it easier to slip the skins off.

4. You should let the salsa sit for at least five minutes before tasting to see if you need to adjust the seasoning, for example by adding more lime juice, vinegar, cilantro, jalapeno or salt. You should prepare the salsa at least an hour, or as much as day or two, before serving, to allow the flavors to fully meld.


Copyright 2005 Seasonal Chef