TASTE FOOD: Accessorize your food with a spring salsa


A little of this, a little of that, with inspiration from the springtime farmers market: A salsa is more than a red or green sauce drizzled over a taco.

Salsas are wonderful mashes of garden herbs, sweet and spicy peppers, aromatics and citrus. Delightfully fresh and usually raw, salsas provide brightness and zing to an assortment of meats, fish, vegetables and grains.

Mellow green garlic and juicy sweet Meyer lemons rule this springtime salsa. They are blitzed together in a chunky sauce with green chiles and leafy herbs. The key to a good salsa is to hit all the flavor components, and this salsa does just that: Sweet and sharp citrus, laced with skulking chile heat, mingles with spring garlic.

Unlike the ubiquitous Eureka, Meyers have an edible rind, and the whole lemon can be added to the salsa. Coarsely chop the lemon and nick away any small seeds. Add the lemon and any juices to the bowl. Meyers are fruity, bright and less puckery than Eureka lemons and add a wonderful citrusy freshness.

This salsa is extremely versatile. It's a brilliant accompaniment to fish and light meats, as well as roasted and grilled vegetables and potatoes. You can also toss chopped cooked potatoes with a generous amount of the salsa for a green and fresh potato salad.

Meyer lemon salsa

Active time: 10 minutes

Total time: 10 minutes

Yield: Makes about 1½ cups

2 green garlics, white and pale green parts and tender green leaves, chopped

1 small Meyer lemon, chopped, seeded

1 small poblano pepper, seeded, chopped

1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded, chopped (optional)

1 cup packed Italian parsley leaves and tender sprigs

½ cup packed cilantro leaves and tender sprigs

½ cup packed fresh mint leaves

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon Kosher salt, or to taste

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor. Process until you have a chunky salsa consistency. Add more oil for a looser consistency, if desired. Taste for seasoning. The salsa can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one day.

Lynda Balslev is an award-winning writer, cookbook author and recipe developer based in northern California.

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