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Recipe: Salsa variations

One of my favorite foods of summer is freshly made pico de gallo, especially when those delicious ingredients come straight from the garden. But after a while, I'm ready to try something else. Here's a few creative ways to use those veggies you've been working hard at growing all summer...

Blueberry Salsa

3 cups fresh blueberries

1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

2 jalapenos, minced

½ red onion, minced

2 red bell peppers, diced small

½ teaspoon salt

1 lemon, juiced

Pour the blueberries out on a large cutting board and give them a rough chop, then put them in a large bowl.

Add in the chopped cilantro, jalapeno, red onion, red bell pepper, salt and lemon juice. Stir everything together until it is well combined.

Serve immediately with chips for dipping.

Chunky Guacamole

3 large ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and diced

1 large jalapeño, finely diced

½ red onion, diced

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 cup roma tomatoes, diced

⅔ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

½ teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

In a large bowl, mix the avocados, jalapeno, red onion, lime juice, tomatoes and cilantro together, then sprinkle the mixture evenly with salt and cumin and stir.

Using two spoons, toss the guacamole into the mixture until it is evenly combined. Taste and season with extra salt if needed.

Serve immediately with chips for dipping.

Cantaloupe Salsa

4 cups fresh cantaloupe, chopped

6 medium tomatoes, chopped

1 cup red bell pepper, chopped

½ cup jalapeno, finely minced

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Zest and juice from one lime

½ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped

sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Add the cantaloupe, peppers, garlic and olive oil to a large mixing bowl and stir everything together.

Add the lime zest and juice, cilantro, salt and pepper, then give it one more good stir to combine.

Test for seasoning and adjust it if necessary.

Chill the salsa for 1 to 2 hours, prior to serving, give it one last stir.

Serve immediately with chips for dipping.

Pineapple Salsa

1 ¼ cup fresh pineapple, diced

½ cup seedless cucumber, diced

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

½ jalapeno, seeded and chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a large bowl, stir the pineapple, cucumber, cilantro, jalapeno, garlic and the lime juice together, add the salt and pepper and adjust accordingly according to your preferred taste. Cover the salsa and allow it to chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, give it another stir

Serve immediately with chips for dipping.

You can buy chips at the store that are already made, you can make them yourself using soft flour tortilla shells or you can make them from scratch...

Homemade Tortilla Chips

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

¾ cup cold butter

¾ cup hot water

Combine the flour, salt and baking powder together in a food processor, then give them a quick pulse to mix them.

Cut the cold butter into little pieces and drop them in. Pulse the food processor until the butter is cut in and there no pieces larger than a pea.

With the processor going, slowly pour in the hot water until it just comes together as a dough. Then, turn the dough out onto a clean surface and knead it for just a minute until it is smooth, be sure to use a little flour if you need to to prevent sticking. Form the dough into a ball, cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, begin heating a dry, clean skillet over medium heat, cast iron will work best. Cut the dough into 12 equal portions. Roll a portion into a ball, then roll it out with a rolling pin, as thin as you can.

Carefully place the tortilla in the skillet and cook for 30 to 45 seconds or until it is just beginning to get brown areas and is dry on the bottom. Turn it over and cook the other side. Place the warm tortilla in towels to keep it warm, and repeat with the remaining tortilla dough portions.

Once all portions have been cooked, either allow the chips to cool or eat them immediately with your fresh salsa.

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