Fire up your peaches for a bright sum­mer salsa

The Borneo Post - Nature and health - - Flavours - By Cathy Bar­row

IN MY gar­den, it’s rain­ing jalapenos. If life gives you jalapenos, you make salsa. It’s straight­for­ward. Roast the jalapenos, peaches and white onion, and add honey, lime juice and co­rian­der to hold it all to­gether. Use nearly over­ripe peaches for the best re­sults. The skin slips right off af­ter roast­ing. Use a blender to whir the roasted in­gre­di­ents into a smooth sauce, to spoon over car­ni­tas or bar­ba­coa ta­cos, or hand chop for a chunky salsa that sits atop grilled fish or chicken. It’s dip-able, it’s spoon-able.

Be­cause the onion is only par­tially cooked, its bite will in­crease over time; to keep this peachy salsa bright and de­li­cious, serve it soon af­ter it’s made. While it would be tempt­ing to want to keep such a fresh, lively salsa on the shelf to en­joy any­time dur­ing the year, this is not a recipe that will can or freeze well. Too lit­tle acid, im­pos­si­ble to es­ti­mate pH, and too much onion to be safe for can­ning. This salsa, like sum­mer, is best en­joyed in the mo­ment.

Peach and Jalapeno Salsa 8 serv­ings (makes 2 cups)

A hand­ful of in­gre­di­ents melds with chile heat for a fresh, zingy salsa or sauce, whose nomen­cla­ture is en­tirely de­pen­dent on how vig­or­ously you chop or blend. This a peak-sum­mer de­light, to be served along­side fish, tofu and chicken, and as a top­ping for ta­cos and a corn and tomato salad. The fruit and veg­eta­bles can be cooked on the grill, a tra­di­tional Mex­i­can co­mal or in a well-sea­soned grill pan on the stove top.

MAKE AHEAD: The salsa can be re­frig­er­ated for up to 1 day; its flavour and colour grow dull when kept longer. This is not a can­di­date for freez­ing or can­ning, be­cause of its vari­able pH.

In­gre­di­ents

- 1/2 medium white onion

- 3 ripe, base­ball-size peaches, cut in half and pit­ted (1 1/2 pounds to­tal)

- 2 plump jalapeno pep­pers, cut in half from top to bot­tom, ribs and seeds re­moved

- 1 tea­spoon chilli pow­der

- 1 ta­ble­spoon honey

- 1 ta­ble­spoon fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for serv­ing

- 1/2 tea­spoon co­rian­der seed, crushed

- 1/2 tea­spoon kosher salt, or more as needed

- 1 tea­spoon minced cilantro leaves, for gar­nish

Steps

• Po­si­tion an oven rack about 6 inches from the broiler el­e­ment; pre­heat the broiler. Line a rimmed bak­ing sheet with alu­minium foil.

• Ar­range the onion half, peaches and jalapenos, cut sides up, on the bak­ing sheet. Sprin­kle them with the an­cho chilli pow­der. Broil for 10 to 12 min­utes, turn­ing the sheet as needed, un­til all the pieces’ edges are blis­tered and black­ened.

• Trans­fer the mix­ture to a cut­ting board. Dis­card the peach halves’ skins, which should slip off eas­ily.

• For a smooth hot sauce, coarsely chop the broiled onion, jalapenos and peaches, then com­bine in a blender. Puree un­til fairly smooth, then stop to add the honey, lime juice, co­rian­der seed and salt; puree un­til smooth. Taste, and add more salt, as needed.

• To make a chunky salsa, com­bine the onion, jalapenos and peaches in a food pro­ces­sor; pulse just long enough to re­duce the mix­ture to smaller, dis­crete pieces. (Al­ter­na­tively, you can chop the in­gre­di­ents by hand.) Trans­fer to a bowl; stir in the honey, lime juice, co­rian­der seed and salt. Taste, and add more salt, as needed.

• Gar­nish the smooth hot sauce or chunky salsa with the cilantro and serve right away, with lime wedges.– Wash­ing­ton Post.

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