Monday, June 14, 2010

Salsa is as Salsa does

Couldn't grill last night because we've had a couple or three days of rain and hail, so Mr. Weber's feeling lonely. Summer is his time, not because that's the only time you can grill but because all of the farmer's markets are in full swing so there's lots of interesting stuff to smack on his grates.

But it's been oven and stovetop for a few days, which is fine.

(Left: broiled mahi-mahi with mango salsa. Recipe: broil the fish and spoon on the salsa.)

But for me, more so than grilling season, summer is salsa season. Again, not something that only works in the summer, but something that works so much better in the summer because of all of the fresh produce to mix in there.

Salsa is a perfect example of my cooking sensibility: you can throw out measurements, forget 25% of the ingredients, swap out half of the ingredients for something else, and it still works. In fact, I find the idea of a salsa "recipe" to be a bit of an oxymoron. You don't really have recipes, you have guidelines or rules of thumb.

F'rinstance, last night's mango salsa can be summarized as follows: mango salsa = less tomato than normal (or none at all), some extra red pepper, and go easy on the spices. It's not about a precise combination of set ingredients; it's about "mostly this," "easy on that." You got your fruity salsas, your mostly tomato, your mostly tomatilla, your fresh and your roasted veggie versions, your pure veggie and your heavily spiced, and your with or without beans.

What was in last night's mango salsa? I dunnoh ... some mango, I seem to recall. Maybe one tomato. Some cilantro. Lime juice. I think I forgot the onion, but might add some to the leftovers. Salt. Cumin? I think I left that out. Can't remember for sure.

From last year, everything you need to know about salsa.

What's in your favorite salsa?


Louise said...

I like your perspective on's true, who needs rules. Rain in the rockies? so pretty- I grew up in Denver. You gotta try the gremolata inth frittata- so flavorful... have a great week

The Cooking Ninja said...

I used to cook with measurements but these days I just add a bit of this and that and I have no idea how much that was. Kinda difficult to put it on a blog especially if we have readers who are beginners. Btw: I don't take good food photos too. Most of the time I have to take it in a hurry before food gets cold and everyone is hungry at the table. LOL


Idea...if you are a member of foodbuzz, you can save all the recipes you want in that account. TONS of bloggers post their recipes there!

tasteofbeirut said...

I agree with you 100%; I love salsa especially pico de gallo. I can eat it by the gallon and if I forget the cilantro or even the jalapeƱo, so what! What a wonderful custom! much easier too than making tabbouleh from scratch.