Garden to Kitchen: Strawberry Cilantro Salsa

When I’m lucky enough to keep the chipmunks* away from our strawberries, I’m able to make one of my favorite summer snacks — Strawberry Cilantro Salsa.  This recipe is light, fresh, juicy, flavorful and healthy.  It’s great as an appetizer with pita or chips, or served over grilled chicken or fish.  It’s quick and easy, and keeps for up to a week in the fridge.  I recently served this at an event, and it was a big hit.
 
The ingredients are fresh and simple — strawberries, cilantro, tomatoes, red onion, and a touch of lime.  Most of these are growing in my garden, so I use whatever is currently ripe, and supplement from the market if need be.  By July hopefully the majority of this dish will come straight from the garden.
 

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The colors in the recipe are gorgeous — bright, fresh and mouth-watering.

 

If you can chop and stir, then you can make this salsa — it’s that simple.

 

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Chop everything in tiny pieces, roughly of the same size, so a chip or fork can carry a well-balanced mouthful.

 

Here’s the full recipe:**

 

Strawberry Cilantro Salsa

Ingredients:

Strawberries

Cilantro

Tomatoes

Red Onion

Lime

Olive Oil

Balsamic Vinegar (preferably white, but regular is fine too)

Salt

 

Directions:

Chop the berries, tomatoes, onions and cilantro, and mix them together.  Drizzle the produce with lime juice, olive oil, vinegar and a dash of salt, and stir so everything is evenly covered.  Serve with pita bread, corn chips, or atop grilled chicken or fish.  Eat.  Love.

 

It is that easy!  Here’s the finished dish:

 

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Strawberry Cilantro Salsa, fresh from the garden.

 

Buen provecho!***

 

*****

* We have a chipmunk family of five that lives in our patio.  The entrance to their home is under a bush just below our window, so we’re able to see their comings and goings.  On Mother’s Day, we watched as the parents (Chip and Dale, natch) brought their three new babies out of the nest and into the garden.  Our son named them Flower, Puffy and Little James.  They are adorable… except when they’re eating our strawberries. 

 

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Chip is undoubtedly contemplating his strategy for pilfering that little red strawberry.

 
** You’ll see that I often don’t designate specific quantities and measurements in my recipes. I do this because you know better than I do how much food your family needs and what your tastes are. Cooking isn’t an exact science, anyway — it’s more of an art. (Baking is another story — it actually is science — so I include measurements for my baking recipes.) So use whatever quantity you’d like, make changes to suit your tastes, and substitute ingredients to reflect what’s fresh in the garden and what’s available in your kitchen.

*** Buen Provecho: This is a beautiful saying we learned in Ecuador when we were adopting our son. There’s not a good literal translation from Spanish to English, because the loose translation — “Enjoy your meal” — doesn’t capture the full essence of the Spanish meaning. The verb “aprovechar” means to make the most of, or to receive the full benefit of something. Thus, when we say, “buen provecho,” it is offering our hope that the eater will receive the full benefits and advantages of the food we’ve prepared. And that’s my wish for my friends and family when I cook for them — that they will receive all the goodness the food offers.

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