This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HuntsFreshTwists #CollectiveBias
One of the most important parts of planning any gathering, as well as the most difficult, is creating a successful ‘introductory phase.’ It’s that first block of time where appetizers are served, ideally prepared before your guests arrive, and where your guests conduct their first round of mingling, and become comfortable with their surroundings. The result is that this ‘phase’ sets the tone for the gathering, and shapes how your guests perceive what’s to come afterward.
This is true regardless of the type of gathering, formal or informal, and regardless of whether your guests are new acquaintances, close friends, or even family. While it is true that a superbly crafted and presented main course can overpower any previous shortcomings, it is entirely preferable to have the main course well framed by what came before.
For the summer season, one of the most versatile and beloved items that may be included in a spread, for almost any occasion, is a simple salsa. Whether dressed up for formal dinner parties, or set out family style for a relaxed barbeque, it serves admirably, and is always a welcome touch.
During my last Walmart run Monday morning, I still wasn’t sure what I was going to prepare for my brothers, who were due to come for dinner that Wednesday evening. I pretty much had the dinner itself planned out, but I was simply at a loss for what serve around it.
Then I came across the display for Hunt’s Diced Tomatoes, and it clicked. I would prepare a fresh salsa, and combine it with a quick batch of my homemade flatbreads, which together would make for an excellent opening to our evening.
Before even leaving the store, the flavor profile was already running through my head. Roasted tomatoes with garlic and olive oil, would create a basic Latin or Mediterranean base. Fresh mango would provide subtle contrast to the base. Fresh lemon and orange juice would imbue the salsa a second layer of acidity, while at the same time serving to mute the sweetness of the mango. A roasted jalapeno would add a necessary kick, while the addition of cumin, curry, and turmeric would serve to create a mosaic of spice; elevating the salsa beyond the realm of the familiar.
With a light summer dinner planned for my guests, I knew that the profile was both seasonal as well as apropos to the main course. I prepared the salsa ahead of time, and had it ready for my guests when they arrived, along with a small batch of freshly made flatbreads. It was a delightfully simple success.
However, served in the flatbreads with either feta, ricotta salata or queso fresco and your meat of choice, the salsa could also make for exquisite light lunch or outdoor summer breakfast. Today I am sharing two versions of this deliciously fresh salsa, one that’s more for a luncheon or semi-formal affair, and another that’s best suited for those day’s or night’s when you just need a quick but elegant snack or appetizer.
That was my first use of salsa for the season, and now I would just love to hear about creative use you might have for salsa, or some of your favorite seasonal twists on the classic. Be sure to check out more delicious salsa recipes here.
**Print this Hunt’s coupon to use on your next Walmart shopping trip. Buy 3 Hunt’s Tomatoes any variety 6 oz or larger at Walmart and receive $1.00 in your Ibotta account. All 3 products must be purchased on the same shopping trip.