What is salsa good with? The possibilities for salsa are so near endless that you’d be better off asking what salsa isn’t good with. Practically any salsa tastes great when scooped up on crisp tortilla chips. But since there are so many different types of salsa as well as so many culinary applications, it can be difficult to choose the one you want when you’re staring at all your options on the grocery store shelf. Here are some quick guidelines that can help you figure out the differences:
- Pico De Gallo Salsa Dips
Pico de gallo salsa dips are fresh salsas made of raw ingredients chopped together. They’ll usually include at least tomato, onion, peppers and herbs. Because pico de gallo isn’t cooked, the individual flavors of all the components stand out distinctly. This makes it a delicious addition to simple grilled meats, especially ones that lack flavor on their own (such as chicken breasts or pork chops).
- Classic Mild Salsa Dips
This is the game-time or party classic, most often served up with a bowl of chips. This creamier salsa is cooked, which gives it a smoother and more consistent flavor. It’s not unusual to find flavor variations (roasted garlic salsa is particularly popular), but the basic recipe is the same and has wide appeal. Because of their texture, these classic cooked salsas also make excellent substitutes for salad dressing.
- Southwestern Salsa Dips
Southwestern salsas are characterized by their inclusion of beans and corn in the traditional tomato mix. In fact, some corn salsas skip the tomatoes altogether. It’s common for these salsas to be mild enough to eat with a fork, rather than as a dip or condiment. They’re perfect for topping off a steak or some burgers.
- Fruit-and-Veggie Salsa Dips
More and more salsas recipes these days are including fruits, as well as vegetables. Mango, pineapple and peach are particularly popular incarnations, and they tend to combine sweet, smoky and spicy flavors. This makes them very well suited to accompany tropical dishes, such as shredded pork or shrimp skewers.
What’s your favorite type of salsa, and how do you use it? Share in the comments.