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Hollister
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June 28, 2022

It’s grilling time!

Salsa and fruit salad make summer
There are certain snacks that have to made when the weather is
hot and the produce is fresh, or it just doesn’t seem like summer.
In my house, those include a fresh fruit salad with a sweet,
yogurt-based dipping sauce and homemade salsa. By the time guests
are done with these appetizers, a main course is hardly needed.
Salsa and fruit salad make summer

There are certain snacks that have to made when the weather is hot and the produce is fresh, or it just doesn’t seem like summer. In my house, those include a fresh fruit salad with a sweet, yogurt-based dipping sauce and homemade salsa. By the time guests are done with these appetizers, a main course is hardly needed.

Summer fruit is in abundance and we picked up a variety at the Farmers Market in Hollister on Wednesday and Morgan Hill’s market on Saturday. With our counters and refrigerator bursting to the seams with fruit, it seemed like a good time to make a fruit salad. We used a variety of peaches, nectarines and cantaloupe, and tossed in some berries for a little more color. The way we do it is just to chop up all the fruit into bite-sized chunks and serve it with a fruity dipping sauce on the side. It makes for a great appetizer for parties and is a much healthier option to the typical chips and dip. This is one dish that is best eaten just after preparation, as the fruit will lose its flavor and texture overnight.

The other summer treat we have to have each year is salsa. Salsa is easy to get in this area. Every taqueria and Mexican restaurant offers multiple ones, and the stores are stocked year-round. But there is nothing quite like the taste of salsa made with homegrown tomatoes and chilies. The best part, for me at least with my low tolerance for spicy foods, is that it is easy to control the level of heat in the salsa.

We make up two batches whenever we make salsa – a mild one for me without the onions and peppers, and one with kick for everyone else. This time around, we used a new trick to cook the chilies. We have a gas stove at home so using tongs, we held them over the fire to char their exteriors. Once they were cooked, we put them in a plastic bag to let them steam for 10 minutes The chilies had a roasted flavor and the skins were easier to peel off. We use this salsa on one of our favorite dinners, a hash made with potatoes, bell peppers, onions and mushrooms, with a side of Texas toast and eggs.

But this salsa serves just as well with a bag of chips on the side.

Homemade tomato salsa

4 tomatoes, quartered

4 tomatilloes, halved

1 red onion, halved

2 mild green chilies, such as Anaheim or Poblano

2 jalapenos or other hot pepper, such as habañeros

1 bunch cilantro

Tortilla chips

Roast chilies over an open flame. Place cooked chilies in a plastic Ziploc bag for 10 to 15 min. to steam. Alternatively, chilies can be boiled. Cooking enhances the flavor and makes it easier to peel off the tough skin of the chilies.

Cut chilies lengthwise and remove seeds and inside veins. Gloves are recommended for especially hot chilies as they can burn the skin. Be careful about touching eyes.

For smooth salsa, place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until ingredients are the desired size. For chunkier salsa, chop ingredients by hand.

Makes four cups.

Fruit salad

Cut fruit to 1-inch cubes

2 peaches

2 nectarines

2 bananas

1 c. strawberries

1 c. blackberries

1 cantaloupe

Any other fruit preferred

Fruit dip

Mix one small box of the Jell-o flavor of your choice with 16-oz. plain yogurt.

Chill for two hours. Dip will stay the same texture as yogurt.

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