Fruit salsa perfect for Cinco de Mayo

This Sunday is Cinco de Mayo, so we’re going to see lots of wonderful themed parties. I’m so excited. I have this recipe I’ve been holding back just for this weekend. Last year, I attended a party and a friend brought a fresh fruit salsa with cinnamon tortilla chips. It was the hit of the party.

However, because her recipe was a bit expensive, I played around with variations to reduce the cost. So, inspired by the best price on strawberries this season, here’s what I came up with.

This colorful salsa is so easy to make. It’s perfect for all your spring and summer entertaining. It’s a wonderful appetizer, especially with cinnamon tortilla chips. It’s also great served alongside fish or chicken.

This recipe contains an optional serrano or jalapeño pepper. I used a finely diced serrano pepper and everyone, even the folks who “don’t do spicy,” loved it. Even young children. You can omit the pepper altogether if your crowd is mixed. It’s delicious either way.

STRAWBERRY SALSA FRESCA

What you’ll need

1 lime, zest and juice

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 teaspoons honey

1 large apple, any variety, peeled and diced

1 pound of strawberries, hulled and chopped

1 small shallot, diced

1 serrano or jalapeño pepper, optional (see diva tip below)

Tortilla chips for serving

Here’s how

In a large bowl, stir together the lime juice with zest, salt and honey. Set aside.

Peel, core and dice the apple. Place apple in the lime and honey mixture, stirring to coat. The lime juice prevents the apple from oxidizing and turning brown. Chop the strawberries and add to the bowl. Finely dice the shallot and toss it in there. Lastly, add the pepper, if using, and combine. Adjust the seasonings to your taste.

Serve immediately or let it marinate for an hour or two. The apple turns pink the longer it sits. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.

Diva tip: Jalapeño and other hot peppers can be intimidating. If you like flavor but less heat, remove the seeds and membrane before dicing. The seeds are found in the center of the peppers and are surrounded by a white membrane. This membrane is where most of the capsaicin is located, so it is the hottest part of the pepper. If you choose to add a pepper, use caution when dicing. I wear disposable latex gloves so the pepper doesn’t touch my skin. If you’re braver than me and your skin feels the capsaicin burn, rub a little olive oil on the affected areas then wash with soap and water. Capsaicin is oil soluble, but not water soluble.

There’s nothing better to accompany this salsa than these divine chips. Even if you don’t make the salsa you need to try these chips.

CINNAMON TORTILLA CHIPS

What you’ll need

10 10-inch tortillas

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

Cooking spray

Here’s how

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a small bowl, mix together sugar and cinnamon. Working with three tortillas at a time, spray tortillas on both sides with cooking spray. Sprinkle both sides with the sugar mixture. Stack them and cut into eighths with a knife or pizza cutter. Place in a single layer on baking sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes or until crispy.

Next to pairing this appetizer with a margarita, I highly recommend pairing this salsa with a dry rosé and your best friends while watching the sunset on the back porch. Now, that’s a celebration.

Lifestyle expert Patti Diamond is a recipe developer and food writer of the website “Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous!” Visit Patti at www.divasonadime.com and join the conversation on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom. Email Patti at divapatti@divasonadime.com.

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