Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Strawberry-Chipotle Salsa with Jalapeño

Strawberry-Chipotle Salsa with Jalapeño

Terrific as a dip, even better as a sauce

Fresh, ripe strawberries? We can’t resist. But what to do with all those cartons of luscious berries?

Sweets and desserts are a natural, of course. But strawberries like to go savory once in a while. Especially when they can flaunt a bit of heat, as they do here.

Serve this salsa with tortilla chips as an appetizer. Better yet, pair it with roasted or grilled meat, fish, or fowl. We particularly like to serve it with pork or duck, but it also works well with chicken or salmon.

We always knew strawberries could be saucy. But now they’re really hot.



Strawberry-Chipotle Salsa with Jalapeño

Recipe: Strawberry-Chipotle Salsa with Jalapeño

May is National Strawberry Month in the US. And right on schedule, we’re starting to see locally grown ones at our market. So we decided to turn some into salsa.

Salsa is most commonly made with tomatoes, of course (as in our own Tomato Salsa). But you can make it with many other fruits or veggies too. In the past, we’ve posted recipes for Peach, Plum, and Chipotle Cherry salsas.

In this strawberry salsa, we add both chipotle and jalapeño peppers for heat and flavor. Chipotles are smoke-dried jalapeños. You’ll usually find them packed in small cans, with a spicy adobo sauce. Most supermarkets shelve them in the Mexican food section.

You can make salsa by chopping all the ingredients finely, then mixing them together. Or you can just combine everything in a mini food processor, then whirl to chop and mix all at once. We use the food-processor method in this recipe, but you can do it all by hand if you prefer.

This dish takes about 15 minutes to prepare. You can serve the salsa right away, or chill it and serve later. We think it tastes better if you allow the flavors to mingle together for at least an hour.

This recipe yields about 2 cups. Leftovers keep well for two or three days if refrigerated in an airtight container (the salsa will be “good” for longer than that, but the flavor will deteriorate.)

Ingredients
  • ~1 pound strawberries
  • ½ red onion (about ½ cup minced)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper (or more, to taste)
  • 1 to 2 chipotle peppers (from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce; to taste)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons of adobo sauce (from the chipotle can)
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 or 3 pinches of kosher salt (or regular table salt; to taste)
  • 3 or 4 grinds of black pepper
  • 3 or 4 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped (fresh mint or parsley would also be interesting)
  • additional cilantro, jalapeño, or strawberries for garnish (optional)
Procedure
  1. Wash and hull the strawberries, them chop them coarsely. Set aside.
  2. Peel the onion and chop it coarsely. Place the onion pieces in the bowl of a mini (or full- size) food processor.
  3. Wash the jalapeño pepper(s) and cut off the stem tips. Then cut each pepper in half lengthwise. Use a teaspoon to scoop out the ribs and seeds (be careful, the oil on these is hot; keep fingers away from your eyes). Chop the jalapeño coarsely and add it to the food processor. Then wash your hands with soap and water to remove the hot jalapeño oil from your skin.
  4. Whirl the food processor a few times to mince the onion and jalapeño just a bit.
  5. Add the strawberries (from Step 1), the chipotle, adobo sauce, balsamic vinegar, salt, and black pepper to the food processor.
  6. Wash the cilantro, chop it coarsely, and add it to the food processor. Whirl until the salsa is the consistency you like. Don’t over-process, though, or you’ll turn it into mush.
  7. Taste the salsa and adjust seasoning if necessary. You can serve the salsa immediately, or refrigerate it. We sometimes garnish with chopped cilantro, jalapeño, or strawberries.
Strawberry-Chipotle Salsa with Jalapeño

Notes
  • If you aren’t using a food processor to prepare this dish, chop the ingredients into small dice by hand.
  • When we’re using this salsa as a sauce with meat, fowl, or fish, we often keep the texture a bit chunkier.
  • BTW, try this salsa in a sandwich with pork or chicken. It’s even better if you mix in a bit of barbecue sauce.
  • Or use this salsa on your own homemade tacos.
  • In the US, canned chipotle chilies tend to be sold in 7-ounce containers. The adobo sauce they’re packed in has a tangy vinegar flavor.
  • What to do with the leftover chipotle peppers (you’ll be using only part of the can)? We place the rest of them in a small airtight container and store them in the refrigerator until we have another use for them. They’ll keep for weeks.
  • Both chipotles and jalapeños are quite spicy. So adjust to your taste.
  • You can add sugar to this salsa to help temper the spiciness if you wish. 
  • Once you know how to make one salsa, you basically know how to make them all. The essential salsa elements are: a base ingredient (strawberries in this recipe); an aromatic like onion or shallots; a fresh herb (cilantro, mint, parsley—whatever you think would work); usually a bit of acid to balance the mixture (balsamic vinegar in this case; lime or lemon juice are more common choices); a “ping” ingredient (chipotle and jalapeño peppers in this case; sometimes ginger or garlic); and usually salt and pepper to add the final tone to the dish. Feel free to play with flavors you like to develop your own “house” salsa.

Strawberry-Chipotle Salsa with Jalapeño


Strawberry Heat Forever

“Yum, great salsa!” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “That is, I think it’s not too bad.”

“Berry nice,” I said. “The chipotles have a kick.”

“Yup,” said Mrs K R. “They’re canned heat.”

“Are you going all 1960s on me today?” I said.

“Hang loose, man,” said Mrs K R. “No need to freak out.”

“Have to admit this salsa looks psychedelic,” I said. “Amazing what smashing up a few strawberries can do for flavor and color.”

“First there is a berry, then there is no berry, then there is berry salsa,” said Mrs K R.

Heavy.

You may also enjoy reading about:
Chipotle Cherry Salsa
Salsa and Picante Sauce
Peach Salsa
Plum Salsa
Chipotle Sweet-Potato Salad
Shrimp in Chipotle Sauce
Tany KC-Style Barbecue Sauce
Or check out the index for more recipes

104 comments:

  1. Strawberries are quite unexpected in combination with hot peppers, but your salsa does sound quite appealing. In contrast some savory strawberry-spinach salads I've had give savory strawberrys a bad name, especially when they use wilted green stuff and oversized unripe berries. Sorry, I should stay away from peeving.

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi Mae, when I do a strawberry salad with greens, I like to roast my strawberries. And balsamic vinegar is a must for those salads, IMO. But I like the strawberry & chipotle combo better! Thanks for the comment.

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  2. It seems like there are a lot of strawberry posts out there today. We are picking a handful each night.

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    1. Hi Debra, we're all seasonal cooks and eaters, aren't we? :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  3. Sweet and spicy and not to mention. . . good looking salsa. Great recipe, John. Thank you.

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    1. Hi Ray, this is a super dish! We love canned heat. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  4. The strawberries have been amazing lately! I never thought to make salsa with them, but now I can't wait to try it.

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    1. Hi Laura, fruit salsas are so much fun! Once you make one, you'll make a dozen. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  5. I love this recipe for using up all those luscious strawberries we have right now! I mean, a girl can only eat so many slices of pie with ice cream (a girl can actually eat TOO many, but who's counting.) :)

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    1. Hi Shannon, it was partly to get away from too-much-pie syndrome that we created this. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  6. What an interesting idea, and a nice blend of flavors, I think I will try this. I love strawberries, I love chipotle! Thanks

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    1. Hi Pat, this is a fun dish. And tasty? Very. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  7. I've got some tortilla chips that are just begging for this! Thanks!

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    1. Hi Jeff, now you know the fate of those chips! Thanks for the comment.

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  8. This is just lovely, I have never thought of Strawberries in a savory recipe!! really so exciting and tempting to try a new flavor. Thanks John

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    1. Hi Amira, this is really a cool recipe! Well, hot, but you know what I mean. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  9. Sweet, Spicy and Smoking... That's a TRIO of flavors I NEVER EVER considered. EVER! Look at you all thinking outside of the box! ;)

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    1. Hi Gigi, bet you'll really like this! Tons of flavor. Tons. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  10. Wow there are some nice combinations of flavours on this salsa, playful and brilliant

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    1. Hi Raymund, isn't this nice? SO much flavor! Thanks for the comment.

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  11. I've always wanted to try strawberry salsa and love this version with the chipotle. It sounds absolutely wonderful!

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    1. Hi Tricia, fruit salsas are fun! And really good as a sauce. Thanks for the comment.

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  12. Major YUM factor in your strawberry-chipotle salsa. I'm already dreaming about topping some jalapeño waffles or cornbread wedges with this taste treat!

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    1. Hi SeattleDee, love the idea of waffles! Gotta try that. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  13. And what a berry salsa it is! One could dance the salsa after eating this! Great recipe John and full of flavor. This will be one to try very soon!

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    1. Hi Abbe, one could indeed dance the salsa! Fun idea. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  14. This sounds really interesting. I never thought of adding strawberries in salsa, but it sounds quite yummy.

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    1. Hi Holly, strawberries make a terrific salsa. Many fruits do -- it's fun to experiment. Thanks for the comment.

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  15. I am utterly enamoured by this recipe. Just love it and cannot wait to make it. Will just have to wait a bit cause it is way to early for Canadian strawberries :-) Thanks for the recipe John!

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    1. Hi Evelyne, isn't this neat? It'll be worth waiting until your strawberries are i season. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  16. Now you're speaking my language. I really love fruit salsas. And the color in this one is fabulous. Pinned.

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    1. Hi Lea Ann, the color is great, isn't it? As is the flavor. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  17. Replies
    1. Hi Lizzy, it is, it is! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  18. Far out, man! I find that using just one of those chipotle peppers is enough to send me to the fire hydrant to wash out my mouth- but adding some jalapenos as well! I see that your recipe doesn't have any lime juice- I guess that the sweetness of the strawberries is probably enough. Your dish looks good enough to eat by itself!

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    1. Hi Fran, the balsamic vinegar makes a nice replacement for lime. Plus it pairs so well with strawberries! Thanks for the comment.

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  19. Oh, I must try this. I am a big berry fan and I can't wait until the berries are ready here. This sounds simply amazing! I cook strawberries and chicken together all the time and this will be a huge hit, I'm sure!

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    1. Hi Robyn, strawberries and chicken really work well together, don't they? Try this with pork -- SO good. Thanks for the comment.

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  20. John this is an awesome dip or sauce... I have everything in my house right now to make this and love your idea of serving this with grilled chicken. Swooning over this recipe. I can tell just by your ingredient list this dip rocks.

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    1. Hi Bobbi, this dip does rock! Just like a 60s band. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  21. Hi John,

    I like how add the extra tang and sweetness from the strawberries to make your salsa. Very interesting :)

    Zoe

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    1. Hi Zoe, we're big fans of tangy stuff! Thanks for the comment.

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  22. OMGoodness John!!! I am so loving this recipe. I must live under a rock because there are so many things I have never heard of or simply have never tried. Strawberry-Chipotle Salsa with Jalapeño has got to be on my list when strawberry season finally arrives. (my measely surprise strawberry just isn't going to cut it, lol)

    I really like the notion of using it on salmon. WOW! I can almost taste it already.

    Thank you so much for sharing John. Sooooooo pinning!!!

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    1. Hi Louise, you'll like this! Tons of flavor, and it's really nice with salmon. Thanks for the comment.

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  23. Well, this is quite different! I picked up a couple of baskets of beautiful organic strawberries yesterday. This will be a perfect way to use some of them. Not only is is just pretty, but love the combo of chipotle and jalapeno! Great salsa John. Thanks!

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    1. Hi MJ, we're getting just excellent strawberries at the moment. Which is what inspired me to make this. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  24. Hi John,
    Whom knew that you could use strawberries with salsa? I have never heard of that or tasted it. I am intrigued. This looks awesome and with the chipotle it must be really, really good. I can't seem to get enough of the strawberry. It is one of my favorite berries. This recipe I must try and thanks for all of your facts. I always learn so much from your informative posts. Have a great day with Mrs. K Riffs too!
    Dottie :)

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    1. Hi Dottie, isn't this a fun dish? Loads of flavor, and something a bit different. Thanks for the comment.

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  25. What a great idea, I would have never thought of that, would love to try it.

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    1. Hi Caroline, this is a really fun dish. Definitely worth a try! Thanks for the comment.

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  26. What a great combination of flavors... and so versatile. This salsa is sweet/tangy/spicy and goes well with chips or to serve with pork and chicken. It is a keeper!!!

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    1. Hi Denise, this really is a keeper. SO good! Thanks for the comment.

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  27. Love this recipe and I will definitely be making some of this strawberry-chipolte salsa!!

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    1. Hi Marcelle, this is a fun one! We love fruit salsas. Thanks for the comment.

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  28. Hi John, oh I bet this is sweet and spicy, looks delicious!!

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    1. Hi Cheri, it's really a super dish -- we love its flavor! Thanks for the comment.

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  29. I love anything with strawberries! Looks like I'm gonna enjoy this dip.

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    1. Hi Peachy, we love strawberry season! So much good stuff to make. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  30. Smashed strawberries never looked so good! This salsa is downright delicious sounding - the perfect balance of spice and sweet - I love my salsa to have a kick so loving the 2 pepper action going on!

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    1. Hi Shashi, this definitely has a kick! Really good stuff. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  31. So inventive! I just had a strawberry panzanella salad the other day, too, which was fabulous. A good reminder that great strawberries make an excellent stand-in when tomatoes aren't quite seasonal yet.

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    1. Hi Carolyn, although I love strawberries in sweet things, they work so well in savory. So much fun to use, aren't they? Thanks for the comment.

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  32. Now this is what I call a salsa! Holy moly.... I am in love. :) Another excellent addition to the Mexican themed dinner party I am hosting in early June. Beautiful John. I love the creativity of this. Who would have thought to use strawberries like this. Totes pumped to taste it.

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    1. Hi Anna, you'll love this! Really good -- one of the best salsas we've ever made. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  33. Oh, my gosh, salsa is my weakness. I'd happily skip dinner and just park myself next to this amazing strawberry version :)

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    1. Hi Liz, we love salsa too! Which is why we often have it double as a sauce with meat and fish. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  34. I love fruit salsas, well, any salsa for that matter, but this one is a real stand out because of the chipotles. This looks like a great side for summer barbecues. Can't wait to try it.

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    1. Hi Karen, fruit salsas are great! As is any salsa -- you're right. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  35. Fruit salsas are my favorite!! I love strawberry season as well. Great recipe!!

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    1. Hi Ashley, can never go wrong with strawberries and salsa, right? :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  36. What?!? Why haven't I ever thought of this. Sweet, spicy, salty, savory...Perfect. I absolutely love this salsa, John.

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    1. Hi Pam, this is so easy, isn't it? And so good! You'll love it! Thanks for the comment.

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  37. I will definitely be making this. I adore the Raspberry Chipotle sauce that comes in a bottle. I don't know why I never thought to recreate it. Love this - will make it this weekend.

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    1. Hi VIcki, I'll have to look for raspberry chipotle sauce! Didn't know about that. But chipotle and fruit is a great combo, so I'm not surprised. Thanks for the comment.

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  38. Never tried strawberry salsa, but why not! Love that sweet + spicy combo!

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    1. Hi Pamela, yup, sweet and spicy rules! We love that combo. Thanks for the comment.

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  39. I am in love with this salsa, yayay to jalapenos in strawberries. This is definitely going on my list of to do's. Fruity salsas are so good.
    Have a fabulous weekend both of you.
    xx

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    1. Hi Asha, if you make this, you won't be sorry! SO much flavor. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  40. I like strawberry salsa and yours sounds nice and spicy. It goes very well with pan sautéed or fried fish if you haven't tried it before.

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    1. Hi Karen, salsa (strawberry or not) and fish IS a nice combo. But strawberry is particularly nice. Thanks for the comment.

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  41. I find this immensely intriguing! GREG

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    1. Hi Greg, it's good stuff. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  42. Oh wow John! I LOVE your creativity here. First of all, the color is gorgeous! I always love the combination of sweet and heat or sweet and spicy. And scooping this up on chips looks great. But I'm wondering if this could be a sauce for a cold pasta salad with some grilled chicken? Mmmmmm.....you've got me thinking! : )

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    1. Hi Anne, the color of this is so nice, isn't it? Love the idea of using this as a sauce with cold pasta! Gotta try that. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  43. What a terrific idea! I'm pinning this to try. I love strawberries and I love salsa and i love spiciness, so this is an all-around winner!

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    1. Hi Amy, this definitely is a winner! You'll love it. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  44. Such a fun spin on salsa, John. Strawberries is such a sweet surprise!

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    1. Hi Rahul, isn't this nice? And really, really good. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  45. Yum! I love the versatility of strawberries and fruits! Just made some chutney and I can't wait to try your salsa recipe with my next batch of fresh strawberries :)

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    1. Hi Kiran, fruit salsas are wonderful! And with so many different fruits in season during the summer, we can make a different one almost every week. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  46. Love this, John! I love salsas because they are so versatile. I particularly like them with meat or fish and this one looks like it would go wonderfully with meat or seafood. Salsas are so great to use with seasonal fruit! They all have their unique flavour. Great recipe, John.

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    1. Hi Nazneen, although I really like fruit desserts, I think I like fruit salsas more. So much flavor! Thanks for the ocmment.

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  47. When I think of fruits in salsa, I probably tried only mango in salsa. What else, maybe peach too. I absolutely love the look of this strawberry chipotle salsa! Totally unexpected and love the surprise and I mean it looks really, really good, John! Your idea plum sounds delicious too. I think I might be happy with just chips and salsa if salsa is THIS good.

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    1. Hi Nami, mango salsa is awesome, isn't it? But I confess, I've never met a fruit salsa I didn't like! Most have excellent flavor. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  48. I love Mexican or Tex Mex and this sauce looks perfect to accompany just about anything!

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    1. Hi Katerina, this dish really could accompany almost anything! Really good stuff. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  49. I've enjoyed those mango salsas in the past, but never tried any other sweet varieties. This one looks great since it amps up the heat against the extra sweet. Love it!

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    1. Hi Mary, this really is a fun salsa. Tons of flavor. And pleasure. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  50. I saw this and immediately thought, "How good would a strawberry jalapeno margarita be?!" ha!

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    1. Hi Alyssa, we've been thinking the same thing! Haven't gotten around to making one yet. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  51. Far out!!! a savory sweet salsa with strawberries and chili?! This sounds completely inspired. love it John.

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    1. Hi Amanda, this is far out! :-) And really, really good. Thanks for the comment.

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  52. Wow -- this is the most beautiful recipe I've come across today! This week. This month! Just gorgeous and delicious!

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    1. Hi Valentina, food has to :-) taste good, but when it's also pretty that's a real bonus! Thanks for the comment.

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