Peppers are the key ingredient in a fresh, summer salsa. Originally grown in Central America, there are more than 50,000 types of peppers grown around the world, today.
Peppers can be divided into two groups. Sweet
peppers (like the bell peppers you’ll find on a salad) and hot peppers (like those in salsa).
While available throughout the year at local grocery stores, fresh, local peppers are only available at farmers markets in the Cincinnati area from late July to September. The best peppers are firm, but not hard. Local peppers will last longer than those shipped across the country because they’ve spent less time in storage. If you’re looking for local peppers visit
the Loveland Farmers Market, which is open from 3:00-6:30 on Tuesdays from May to October.
Easy Salsa Recipe
• 4 Cups Chopped Fresh Tomato
• ¼ Cup Chopped White Onion
• 2 Garlic Cloves
• 2 Peppers (jalapeno or serrano with seeds removed)
• 1 cup Cilantro
• ¼ cup Fresh Lime Juice
• Dash of Salt
1. Chop ingredients into small pieces.
2. Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor.
3. Blend to your desired consistency and serve.
4. Let the salsa sit for 30 minutes before serving.
5. Refrigerate for up to one week.
Fresh peppers are best stored in the refrigerator between 45–50°F for two weeks or less. Peppers stored in the refrigerator may be susceptible to freezing. Wash peppers thoroughly in cold water to remove dirt before eating. When handling hot peppers, wear gloves. Fresh salsa can be kept in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Whether you’re seeking new ways to get children to enjoy vegetables or trying to find something that you can take to a picnic, fresh salsa is a welcome and enjoyable treat.
Salsa is also a great way to use under or over ripe produce or products that are misshapen or “ugly”. Put some in a jar or storage container, take it on the go, share it with neighbors and loved ones, or use it as a topping on your salads or tacos!
For some extra spicy fun, check out this poem from Tony Staubach:
Every Friday night, my family gathers round,
My mom pulls out a blanket, and lays it on the ground.
My dad dumps out of a jar, of salsa in a cup,
And with tortilla chips, we eat it all right up.
We put a movie on, but I can’t really look,
Because I hear a funny noise, in the kitchen where they cook.
With salsa on a chip, I gobble up that round,
Then head upstairs, to investigate that sound.
Dad’s cutting up tomatoes, Mom’s chopping onions up.
“I don’t eat those things, you should feed them to a pup!”
“Now my loving child,” my mom said with a look,
“Let me get my glasses, and find my favorite book.”
In the other room, on the blanket lounged,
My mom sits in the middle, and my siblings all surround.
“This book contains the secrets, for making tasty grub,
And helps me make a list, of the veggies I should scrub.
Recipes begin, with a catchy little hook,
Ingredients and directions, on how we’ll cook.
You say you like your salsa, but in this recipe we’ll find,
Salsa’s made of tomatoes, peppers, onions, and some lime.”
“That just can’t be,” I huffed and I puffed,
I don’t eat those things, but I gobble salsa up.
With her warming smile, my mom looked at me,
“Sometimes things are better, when they’re made lovingly.
Your dad has chopped tomatoes, I cut the onions up,
Let’s put them in the blender, we need a quarter cup…
Of juice from a lime, and some sliced peppers too,
A few sprigs of cilantro- that will almost do.
A couple cloves of garlic and a dash or two of salt,
We’ll put on the lid, and mix it like a malt.”
I push the blender button, we’re done in a jiff,
The onion, garlic, and cilantro, make me take a whiff.
We return to the blanket, the movie carried on,
My dad brings in the salsa, and he joins right along.
We sit and we eat, this fresh healthy snack,
Makes me wonder what, foods my life still lacks?