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Mar 23, 2018
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By the Book: Andrew Weil, Sam Fox and Michael Stebner’s Strawberry-Chile Salsa

June 11th 12:06pm, 2013


With strawberries finally in season and frequently on sale, I find myself buying in bulk every time I go to the store. Yet, as much as I love these juicy red berries, more often than not, I can’t get through them before I lose at least a handful to mold and bruising. The recipe for Strawberry-Chile Salsa in True Food: Seasonal, Sustainable, Simply, Pure offers the perfect solution. The cookbook includes more than 125 recipes that are actually healthy. I use the word “actually” because unlike many cookbooks that tout health, there is no diet vibe, no dietary restrictions or pages of substitutions. Like almost all this book’s recipes, the recipe for this salsa is simple and uses only fresh ingredients.



There’s nothing worse than using a favorite ingredient and then barely being able to taste it because of everything else going on. With this recipe, which only uses five ingredients, in every bite the strawberries are what you smell and taste both first and last.



It was also nice that I already had all of the ingredients on hand − I’m much more prone to save strawberries from the compost pile if I don’t have to go grocery shopping in order to do so. Note: Weil mentions cilantro in his introduction to this recipe but doesn’t include it in his ingredient list. I didn’t use it, but next time I will because I love cilantro, and I think a bit more green flecks in the finished product will look nice.



My only misstep with this recipe (Yes, although it is as simple as humanly possible, I still managed a misstep!) was that I didn’t chop the ingredients but rather blended them. The salsa became a pretty unappetizing-looking purée.



Since the salsa was a bit too thin for my chip-dipping taste (I like to use chips as a shovel for salsa.), I tried it as a dip for a barbecue sandwich. The result was divine. The sweet from the berries and the kick from the serrano chile added just the right amount of pizazz to make leftover barbecue exciting again.

Next time I make this salsa, I’ll either be patient and dice, mince and chop as instructed, or I will blend a third of the ingredients and dice the rest. Either way, hopefully my salsa will look more like the photo in the cookbook and less like pink slime. Luckily, my pink slime still tasted great.



Strawberry-Chile Salsa

Makes 2 cups

I have a large strawberry patch at my summer place in British Columbia. I often find myself inundated with berries in June and challenged to find ways to use them. This is one of the best: a medium-hot, bright red salsa flecked with the green of cilantro and chile. Use more or fewer chiles depending on your taste. This is good on its own with chips or raw vegetables, and you can also serve it with grilled fish or chicken. If fresh raspberries are available, trying using them in place of strawberries.

1 pint strawberries, diced
1/4 cup minced onion
1 serrano chile, finely chopped, with seeds
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
Salt to taste

• Combine all of the ingredients. Let stand for 15 minutes to blend the flavors before serving.

What’s your favorite way to use strawberries? Tell us in the comments section below for a chance to win a copy of True Food: Seasonal, Sustainable, Simply, Pure. We’ll announce the winner in next week’s By the Book column.

And now, we’d like to congratulate Marina, whose comment on last week’s  By the Book has won her a copy of Bouchon Bakery. Marina, keep an eye out for an email from the Sauce crew.


By Julie Cohen

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2 Responses to “By the Book: Andrew Weil, Sam Fox and Michael Stebner’s Strawberry-Chile Salsa”

  1. Hao Says:
    June 11th, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    i like to take strawberries, frozen lemonade, and basil and boil it down with some extra sugar, water, and vanilla extract. Once it’s nice and syrupy, I chill it in the fridge over night, take out the basil, and blend into a puree which is then frozen into sorbet. mmm… sorbet. :)

  2. Lisa Says:
    June 18th, 2013 at 10:08 am

    When strawberries are fresh in season, and good quality, I like them with a little plain greek yogurt and some honey. Other times, I will make a strawberry bruschetta. Mix strawberries with balsamic vinegar and sugar and let them sit until they are juicy, then spread on top of baguettes with goat cheese.

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