Victoria Petersen / Peninsula Clarion                                Bowls of mango salsa (left) and salsa verde are accompanied by seltzer water and tortilla chips as part of a shrimp tacos birthday meal.

Victoria Petersen / Peninsula Clarion Bowls of mango salsa (left) and salsa verde are accompanied by seltzer water and tortilla chips as part of a shrimp tacos birthday meal.

Kalifornsky Kitchen: Stretching out summer with mango salsa

Life is what you make it and so is this salsa.

I love salsa. Chips and salsa are my favorite snack of all time.

I first learned how to make it when I was about 8 or 9 years old. I was best friends with a girl down the street. Her family was Mexican and they made the best salsa.

It was a quick and easy dip made with the blender. It only has a handful of fresh ingredients, and was heavy on the cilantro. It was my go-to salsa for many, many years.

When we first moved to Kenai, I saw recipes in several cookbook for mango salsa. The salsa I was used to making was similar to a salsa verde and was blended to make a really uniform dip, free of any chunks. Mango salsa is the opposite of that. It’s almost like a salad, with all of the individual parts coming together to form a really satisfying taco topper, dip or side dish.

This recipe can easily be riffed on and I typically just use whatever I have lying around. Sometimes I like to add some chopped avocado to the mix for added creaminess. Sometimes I like to add a glug of olive oil to help really combine everything.

Recently, I’ve been adding a heaping pinch of sumac, which is a deep red powder that’s citrusy, tart and a teeny bit spicy. It comes from the fertile crescent and is used all over the world to add a punch to dishes and spice mixes, like Za’atar.

This is a choose-your-own-adventure kind of recipe. So if you don’t like cilantro, leave it out. If you like pineapple or peaches more, use those. Adverse to spicy peppers? Use just the serrano or just the jalapeno. Want it extra spicy? Use more serrano or jalapenos. Feel like you want more or less of something? Adjust accordingly.

Life is what you make it and so is this salsa.

Mango salsa

1 mango

1 bunch of cilantro

2 red bell peppers

1 red onion

1 lime

1 jalapeno

1 serrano

salt, to taste

pepper, to taste

garlic powder or finely minced garlic, to taste

A big pinch of sumac or cayenne or cumin

Finely chop the mango, cilantro, bell peppers, onion and peppers. Place chopped produce in a large bowl. Using a spoon, start to mix everything together until combined.

Slice the lime in half and squeeze the juice over the chopped produce. Add the salt, pepper, garlic and sumac. Use the spoon to combine everything together once more.

Serve with tacos, seafood, in a Mexican-inspired rice bowl, with chicken, with chips or simply enjoy on its own with a spoon.

• By Victoria Petersen, For the Peninsula Clarion

More in Life

Homer writer Richard Chiappone. (Photo by Joshua Veldstra)
‘Hunger of Crows’ perfect for winter reading

Chiappone’s first novel is set in Homer, Anchor Point.

Fresh dinner rolls made without the addition of dairy. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Baking for everyone

Dinner rolls skip the dairy, but not the flavor

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
Life in the Pedestrian Lane: ‘Tis the Season

The Kenai Community Library has always been one of the stars in the crown of the community.

Homer News Ben Mitchell, left, serves spaghetti to helper Pat Wells in the kitchen at a past Share the Spirit spaghetti feed. (Michael Armstrong/Homer News file)
Looking to share some holiday spirit? Here’s how

Share the Spirit serves the Homer community by donating food, essential needs and Christmas presents.

Appease your child’s picky palate with these tasty Tater Tots. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Tots to be thankful for

Two years ago, I spent the entirety of Thanksgiving Day in my green rocking chair, cradling my newborn son.

Minister’s Message: Keep in step

Sometimes it takes going half way around the world to learn how to “keep in step” as I journey.

Shelli and Mike Gordon pose in October 2011 at their Halibut Cove, Alaska, home in an Alaska Gothic version of Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” painting. (Photo courtesy of Mike Gordon)
‘Dagnabit’ features tales of ’80s wild Alaska

Gordon’s second book also tells of Ruben Gaines, creator of Chilkoot Charlie.

Before boiling, this handmade pasta is rolled, cut and tossed in flour to keep from sticking. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Pasta by hand

Learning one of the most important task of the Italian kitchen: making the pasta.

Will Morrow (courtesy)
The Great Thanksgiving dessert debate

Our holiday gathering is going to be smaller than it sometimes is, and it was argued that we didn’t need two desserts.

Dianne Spence-Chorman’s “Fig Study” is one of the works showing in the Homer Council on the Arts “Fun wtih 5x7” show through Dec. 22, 2021, at the gallery in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
‘Fun with 5×7’ offers affordable art

HCOA annual art show presents art in a variety of media, all in 5x7 format.

Make pumpkin chocolate chip with cinnamon buttercream cupcakes for a decadent fall treat. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: In honor of ‘Cupcake Mondays’

Pumpkin chocolate chip with cinnamon buttercream cupcakes brighten up the dreariest of work.

Nick Varney
Nick Varney
Unhinged Alaska: Back off, Zeus

If this wet-n-warm, freeze, then start again, continues much longer, Kachemak Drive will need a complete redo.