Cathie Campbell

Everybody loves salsa

Of course, we all love salsa any time of year, so we are not limited by weather. Served with a variety of tortilla chips, it is hard to stay away from the salsa bowl. Everyone seems to have a favorite recipe for making their own salsa. Some recipes call for fruit, such as mangoes, pineapple, peaches, watermelon or strawberries. Others are more basic, with mostly tomatoes, peppers and onions, perhaps garlic and cilantro.

If you are like me, you like them all. Just had to share some delicious salsa recipes with you this week. Try to get the best, most flavorful tomatoes you can find, if planning to use fresh ones. Later on, when home gardens are in full swing, some home-grown tomatoes would be perfect.

Simple salsa

3 large ripe tomatoes

1 small onion

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1/2 small lime

Cayenne pepper, to taste

Dash garlic granules, optional

1. Chop two of the tomatoes and simmer in a small pot for about 10 minutes.

2. Finely dice the remaining tomato, onion and cilantro, and place in a large bowl. Add the salt, cayenne and garlic, if using. Squeeze the lime half over all and mix well.

3. Pour the hot, cooked tomatoes over the mixture and blend evenly. Store salsa, covered, in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Peach mango salsa

2 mangoes, peeled and diced

2 peaches, peeled and diced

1 ripe tomato, diced

1/2 orange bell pepper, diced

1/2 cup red onion, diced

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and membranes removed, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 lime, juiced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1. In a medium bowl, gently mix all ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least one hour to allow flavors to develop.

Watermelon salsa

This recipe makes just a little bit, but you can easily use the proportions to make a bigger batch. This is good not only with tortilla chips but also with cinnamon-sugar pita chips.

1/2 cup watermelon (seedless), chopped

1/4 cup ripe tomato, chopped

2 tablespoons red onion, chopped

1 tablespoon jalapeno pepper, seeded and membrane removed, minced

1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped

Juice of 1 lime

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. In a glass or plastic bowl, mix watermelon, tomato, red onion, jalapeno pepper, cilantro and lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes a little more than 1 cup.

2. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Easy blender salsa

For those who wish to use canned tomatoes.

1 can (14-oz.) diced tomatoes

1 can (10-oz.) original Ro-Tel tomatoes

1/2 small onion, roughly chopped

1/2 to 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and membrane removed

1 teaspoon honey

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Small handful cilantro

Juice of 1 lime

1. Place all ingredients in a blender container or food processor. Pulse to combine for 30 seconds or until all ingredients are finely chopped and salsa is the texture and consistency that you desire.

2. Taste for seasonings and adjust, if necessary to your tastes. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.