Bring Berries Into Your Salsa

Who says salsa always has to be made with tomatoes?

Come summertime, we love taking advantage of the sweet and tart goodness of berries. That’s why we are berry excited to partner with Sara Forte of Sprouted Kitchen to share tips, insights and her favorite recipes using berries.

When it comes to summer parties, chips and salsa are almost always on the invite list: nothing beats the fresh taste of a homemade salsa or pico de gallo. That said, tomatoes aren’t in season until late in the summer, making straight-from-the-garden salsa a bit of a waiting game in those early summer months. But don’t fret! Instead, try incorporating berries into your salsas— their sweet and tart flavors bring an interesting spin to everyone’s favorite party condiment.

As you begin experimenting with berry salsa, don’t be afraid to break the mold. Remember, red color alone doesn’t necessarily make something “salsa.” Try using blueberries or blackberries with your fresh spring herbs, and consider using goat cheese as a queso fresco substitution.

This strawberry salsa recipe is a springy, sweeter alternative to a classic pico de gallo salsa. Here, strawberries replace tomatoes for the sweet and acidic salsa component. To balance that sweetness from the strawberries, this recipe calls for a bit of acid from the lime juice and heat from the jalapeno. The bright color makes this salsa a pretty crostini topping or a unique fish taco topping.

For the best flavor, try to make this salsa the day of — otherwise, the salt will begin to break down the strawberries and compromise their texture. If you need something to be made more than a day in advance, swap the strawberries for blueberries can hold up a little longer in the fridge.

Live.Love.Lux Tip: When toasting crostini, get that golden crisp every time with Perfect Taste Convection in your Electrolux wall oven.

Strawberry Salsa on Whipped Queso Fresco Crostini

"This salsa pairs nicely with a salty cheese spread. I use queso fresco here to keep with the Mexican theme, but a good sheep’s feta will work fine in its place. While both are flavorful and contrast well with the strawberries, sometimes the latter is more on hand." – Sara

Servings: 6

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Ingredients

1 French baguette

Olive oil, as needed

1 pint strawberries, cleaned and dry

1 jalapeno

1/4 cup finely minced red onion

1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro

Juice of one small lime

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

6 ounces queso fresco cheese, crumbled, room temperature

2 ounces whipped cream cheese

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Slice the baguette into 1/2” slices on the diagonal. Rub one side of each slice with a thin coat of olive oil and spread them on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and bake on the upper rack for 6-8 minutes until toasted. Remove to cool. 

Chop the strawberries into small bits, about 1/4”, and collect them in a large mixing bowl. Stem and mince the jalapeno removing some of the seeds if you do not want it spicy. Add it to the bowl long with the onion, cilantro, lime juice and stir. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside for the flavors to marry.

Into a food processor, add the cheese and give it a few pulses to chop. Add the cream cheese and blend until combined and smooth, about a minute.

On top of the toasted crostini, spread a generous about of the queso spread and top it with a generous spoonful of the strawberry salsa. Garnish with extra cilantro if you wish and serve.

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