Freshly chopped salsa goes by many names — from "salsa" to "salsa fresca" to "salt cruda" to "pico de gallo" — and there are, without a doubt, numerous others that likely come to mind once you start thinking about this tasty dish. Salsa also comes in an immense variety of flavors and iterations, basically limited only by your imagination. So, if you’ve been finding yourself getting — dare we say — bored with your go-to tomato-based salsa, and you’re in the mood to switch things up a bit, then consider whipping up this beautiful, freshly chopped strawberry-based salsa. Your taste buds surely won’t be disappointed!
According to food photographer and recipe developer Stephanie Rapone, "My family absolutely loves strawberries, and I can always get my kids to try new things if it includes something they already love. I decided to try this as a way to get them to try more fish, and it worked!" So whether you’re serving this refreshing strawberry salsa at a backyard gathering with friends or simply as an appetizer before your own family meal, everyone will absolutely love it.
Gather the ingredients to prepare this wonderfully fresh strawberry salsa
There’s something really special about this strawberry salsa recipe — the key ingredients are undeniably fresh! That means you can head to the local farmers market to fill your basket with delicious goodies. Of course, that also means you’ll need to do a bit of dicing and chopping. But you’re in luck, because Rapone provides clear instructions that’ll serve as a quick refresher on your chopping skills.
So, let’s get to gathering all the necessary ingredients for this strawberry salsa recipe. You’ll need 1 pint of fresh, ripe strawberries, ¼ red onion, one to two jalapeños (depending on size and how spicy you want your salsa, Rapone notes), the juice from one medium lime, a 6-inch length of English cucumber (Rapone uses this variety because of their relatively lower water content, which works better in salsa), a bunch of cilantro (of which you’ll need a total of ¼ cup, chopped), a bunch of mint (of which you’ll need a total of 2 tablespoons, chopped), ½ teaspoon of kosher salt, 2 teaspoons of olive oil, and 2 teaspoons of agave nectar.
For serving your strawberry salsa, your default is, naturally, a basket of salty, crunchy tortilla chips. But, you can also use this as a condiment on grilled chicken or fish, Rapone notes.
Finely dice the onion and jalapeño
To dice the red onion, place one piece, cut-side down, and make thin slits that don’t go all the way through to the stem, and then flip to the other side, and do the same thing. Then, cut across the slits for a fine dice. For the jalapeño, Rapone recommends wearing gloves and making sure not to touch your face until you’ve taken those gloves off and washed your hands. To dice the jalapeño, cut off the stem end, then cut the whole thing in half length-wise. Slice one half into long, thin strips, then gather the strips, and chop across the strips for a fine dice. Repeat with the other half.
Combine the onion and jalapeño with the salt and lime juice, then let it rest
Place the finely diced onion and jalapeño in a bowl, and stir together with the salt and lime juice. Then, set it aside to rest for five minutes. The purpose of this mini step is to "take the sharpness out of the onions" and "tame the jalapeño a bit," Rapone says. But if you like your flavors to be a bit bolder, feel free to skip this "rest period." In any case, the next mini step is to add the olive oil and the agave nectar, and stir to combine.
Dice the strawberries
While the lime and jalapeño are resting, or after stirring in the oil and agave if you chose to skip "rest period," rinse off the strawberries, and finely dice them as follows: Cut off the stem end, and turn the berry onto its flat side. Cut it in half from the point on down. Cut it in half again, and placing the cut-side down, cut in half once more. Now you’re ready to chop the strawberry into tinier pieces. Repeat with all the strawberries, or if you’re feeling ambitious, you can cut several strawberries at once using the described method.
Dice the English cucumber
Slicing your English cucumbers is much easier than you might think. Simply cut off the stem ends, and stand the cucumber on one of those now-flat ends. Slice vertically into strips, and then dice up those strips. Although this might seem reminiscent of dicing the jalapeño, unlike with the jalapeño, Rapone says, "Gloves are not necessary." Then, you’ll add both the diced strawberries and diced cucumbers to the onion, jalapeño, and lime mixture, and stir it all up to combine.
Mince the cilantro and mint, then add to the fresh strawberry mixture
Wash and towel dry the cilantro and fresh mint. For the cilantro, you can keep the stems on. For the mint, you’ll want to dispose of the stems.
To chop the cilantro, you’ll want to gather the bunch into as tight a roll as you can make. Running your knife through the roll, mince away, being sure to watch out for your fingers. To chop the mint, use the same process. Measure out ¼ cup of the chopped cilantro and 2 tablespoons of the fresh mint, and stir them into the strawberry mixture.
You’re officially ready to serve! Rapone has no doubt that this is so delicious, and it will be gone in an instant, which is definitely a good thing, because it really is meant to be served and eaten immediately.
- ¼ red onion, finely diced
- 1 to 2 jalapeños (depending on size and how spicy you want your salsa), finely diced
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- juice from 1 medium lime
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons agave nectar
- 1 pint fresh strawberries, finely diced
- 1 (6-inch) English cucumber, finely diced
- ¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
- tortilla chips, for serving
- Finely dice the red onion and jalapeño.
- Place the onion and jalapeño in a bowl with the kosher salt and lime juice, and stir. Set aside for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, add the olive oil and agave nectar to the bowl, and stir. Set aside to rest while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
- Wash and finely dice the strawberries and cucumber.
- Add to the lime and jalapeño mixture the strawberries and cucumber, and stir to combine.
- Wash and towel dry the cilantro and fresh mint, and chop finely.
- Measure ¼ cup of the cilantro and 2 tablespoons of the fresh mint, add to strawberry mixture, and stir.
- Serve with tortilla chips or over your choice of grilled chicken or fish.