GEORGE: Salsa is now the number one condiment in America.
JERRY: You know why? Because people like to say “salsa”. “Excuse me, do
you have salsa?” “We need more salsa.” “Where is the salsa? No salsa?”
– Seinfeld, Episode 43 “The Pitch”
It’s already begun.
The ubiquitous gearing-up-for-summertime-heat, and the dread that sets in around this time of year in the Phoenix area because of the impending, crazy hot summer weather.
The standard coping method consists of going from air conditioned house, to air conditioned car, to air conditioned job/movie theater/restaurant, or God willing, a swimming pool somewhere. With all this bitching about the oppressive heat that’s soon to arrive, you’d think that we’d all just arrived to this city yesterday, instead of so many of us having been born and raised in Arizona, like I have. It’s a common thread we all share — camaraderie in complaining about 100+ degree temperatures.
You can find a few activities to stifle the heat, and I think those activities should include eating. Drowning one’s sorrows in food is, obviously, not the most healthy thing to do, but if you have a reasonably good-for-you option, it’s not the worst thing in the world you could do. Take this cooling, fruity, spicy mango-cantaloupe salsa — Mowing down a bowl of this stuff with a big pile of salty tortilla chips, a nice cold beer on the side while you’re sitting by a pool somewhere, is quite a nice way to spend a hot afternoon.
Before it gets really hot, make a big batch of this salsa and scarf it down. You know, to prepare yourself for [sad violin music] The Awful Summer Heat.
fresh mango-cantaloupe salsa
(makes about 5 cups)
1 large mango, peeled, cored, and diced (about 6 ounces by weight)
1/2 small ripe cantaloupe, peeled and diced
1 orange bell pepper, seeded and diced
One good-sized handful fresh parsley, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
1/2 small red onion, diced
2 cloves minced garlic
1 large jalapeño, seeded and minced
1 Tbs + 1 tsp fresh lime juice
1/8 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
In a medium bowl, toss together the diced mango, diced cantaloupe, diced bell pepper, minced parsley, diced red onion, minced garlic, and minced jalapeño. Add the lime juice, pepper, salt, and sugar. Taste for seasoning and adjust as you see fit. Serve with a pile of tortilla chips. It would be equally good used as a relish for some grilled fish or chicken! Feel free to use cilantro in place of the parsley, if you’d like. I’m a card-carrying member of Team Cilantro Haters, so I prefer parsley.
This salsa should stay good for at least 3-5 days if refrigerated in an airtight container. Me, I’d eat it all way before that long.
The great thing about this recipe is that it doesn’t require turning on the oven or the stove! Peeling and chopping fruits and vegetables is about as strenuous as it gets with this salsa, which means it’s perfect for when the heat is getting you down and making your brain all fuzzy. Here’s to enduring the impending summer heat, one bowl of salsa at a time!