If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world – JRR Tolkien
Happy Summer Solstice! Summertime is finally here and the produce aisles are full of summer’s bounty. If you’re lucky enough to live in a warmer climate you may be getting ready to harvest fresh vegetable from your garden. It’s been years since I’ve had my own vegetable garden, but when I walk into a grocery store with a lush supply of ripe vegetables, I’m transported back to days of gathering my own summertime harvest. This time of year makes me want to experience all those flavors at once.
A side salad full of peppers and tomatoes that can also double as salsa is a great way to enjoy produce that is currently in season. I’m not sure where I first discovered the following recipe, and I have long lost the precise measures and ingredients. What I like about it is you can pick and choose what satisfies your palate or select ingredients according to whatever produce looks most fresh. You can also leave out ingredients that you may not be fond of. The flavorful blending of tastes is a wonderful combination. It’s a great dish to bring if you’re visiting someone for a backyard barbecue or a weekend by the beach. It can work as a salsa, a salad, or a topping for barbecue meat or fish. With good friends and the right mix flavors, it can feel like a party in your mouth:-) You may even want to dance a salsa!
Rainbow Salad or Summertime Salsa
In a large mixing bowl, combine the following –
4 roma tomatoes, diced (I usually seed them so salad doesn’t get too runny)
2 peppers, diced (Because I like diversity of color, I used 1 yellow and 1 orange pepper in the above photo – green and/or red peppers also work)
1 jalapeño pepper, diced (wash hands well after handling this pepper and avoid hand/eye contact for several hours)
1 clove of garlic, diced (I’m a big believer of, you can never have too much garlic, so I used 3 cloves)
2 bunches of chopped scallions
1 ripe mango, diced
1 avocado, diced
1 15 oz can washed and drained black beans
1 cup or more chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of 4 freshly squeezed limes (Lime juice can also be used to taste)
2 Tablespoons Virgin Olive oil (I jazzed it up a bit and used some blood orange flavored oil)
I thought I was done with the above when hubby walked into the kitchen and asked me to add corn….my aim is to please all palates…so I added
1 cup defrosted sweet corn kernels
Feel free to experiment with the above ingredients. Adding or subtracting according to your likes and dislikes. Stir all the above together and let chill in the refrigerator for about an hour (if you can without being interrupted by taste testers:-).
Put on some festive music. Serve as a salsa with your favorite chips or as a side salad on a leaf of romaine or bib lettuce
Keeps for up to a week refrigerated in a well sealed container, but it rarely lasts that long!