Monday, December 1, 2014

Strawberry Cucumber Salsa With Thai Flavors


One summer, Tom and I were lucky enough to vacation on a remote part of Martha’s Vineyard with my sister and her husband.  I’d been planning this trip for most of my life, since I’ve always wanted to stay there. It seemed like a distant, dream-like place of amber light and blue water. It was everything I imagined it to be.
Our little beagle-mix, Ellie, came with us to this island of soaring cliffs, sea and sky. We rode bikes, took long walks, visited lighthouses, collected scallop shells, sat on lonely beaches with crabs and sea birds as our only companions, soaking up the untouched beauty of this unique place.
For dinner, we visited the local fish market to find the catch of the day.  I’d hunt around the tiny general store for fresh produce. A few cartons of sweet strawberries, garden cucumbers, Thai basil, fiery green chili peppers were always available.

One island night, I served this light salsa over grilled sea bass. Cool cucumbers and sweet strawberries balance the fiery chili.  A flurry of fragrant Thai basil and zesty lime lend a sassy finish. The meals on Martha’s Vineyard will always be remembered as some of the freshest I’ve had in my life.
This salsa is great with tortilla chips or over grilled chicken too!
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Strawberry Cucumber Salsa Recipe

Some Notes 

I love small, Persian cucumbers. If you can find them, grab them. If using Persian cucumbers, you don’t have to peel or seed them. If all you can find is regular cucumbers then peel and seed them.

Depending on my mood, I add a diced avocado to this salsa.

  • 16 ounces of strawberries, chopped
  • 1-2 medium to large cucumber peeled, seeds removed and diced or use a few mini Persian cucumbers. (see notes)
  • 1 jalapeno chili pepper or one Thai bird’s eye chili pepper, diced. Leave out the seeds and veins if you want it to be less spicy.
  • 1 lime, zest half of it and reserve.
  • Drizzle of honey
  • Handful of Thai basil, chopped or torn. Fresh garden mint or regular basil would be great too.
  • Drizzle of light olive oil or other neutral tasting oil
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Optional: A diced ripe avocado
Place the strawberries, cucumbers and chili pepper in a bowl.  Add the honey, oil, lime zest and a couple of good squeezes of lime juice. Sprinkle in a pinch of salt and toss to combine. Taste.  Adjust salt. Stir in the basil.  Serve immediately with fish, chicken, shrimp, scallops and/or tortilla chips. Enjoy! 


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