For my birthday I got a beautiful new bowl. It’s pretty much white, like most of the dishes I love. What makes it distinct is the shape, the twine and brown paper tag packaging and …. the serving spoon. It has a frilly little ladle with the words “Let’s Salsa” stamped in the bowl.
While I’m not much of a dancer it is a fitting phrase to roll with the rhythm of my summer kitchen. I have been crazy about salsa since my introduction to it when I first moved to Texas way back in the ‘80s. Then my salsa of choice was all about tomatoes, onions and peppers and usually came in a jar labeled “Pace”. This spicy condiment, along with other elements of the local cuisine, began to change the way I thought about the taste of summer.
While I still use Pace for all kinds of things, my love of salsa has expanded dramatically over the years to include many colorful salsas, both sweet and savory, from the orchard as well as the garden. This cherry salsa encompasses a number of steps in that journey, drawing on the spicy fire of ginger as well as the heat of peppers and onion, adding herbs for flavor, citrus and vinegar for brightness and cherries for sweet substance. To switch from before the meal to a sweet conclusion you can even add a few bits of chocolate.