Ah, summer! Let me tell you, it’s hot down here. Really hot. Humidly, stiflingly, ridiculously hot. Still, despite the absurd heat, I love the summer because it means all-day stints at the beach. We get there early and set up tents, chairs and umbrellas. We haul out coolers full of beer and soda. Everyone brings tons of food, which we load up on plates and float in the ocean. In the afternoon, I usually nap under the shade of the umbrella. Beach days are perfect days.
And this grilled red pepper salsa is perfect beach food. It’s bright and sunny, a little spicy and very refreshing. I also love that subtle char flavor that the grilled peppers give it. Though it’s great with the standard corn tortillas chips, it’s also makes a delicious condiment for grilled chicken or pork chops. This time, my salsa made brightened up some melty bean quesadillas with sliced avocado.
Summer officially begins on Sunday. Welcome it with open arms, chips and salsa and a chilly bottle of beer.
Grilled Red Pepper Salsa
You can use different kinds of bell pepper here, though I’m not sure green bell peppers will lend the right amount of sweetness. I recommend red, yellow or orange.
1 tsp. olive oil
2 red bell peppers, stem and seeds removed
2 medium-sized tomatoes, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced
1/4 red onion, diced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1 clove garlic, minced
juice of 2 limes
1 tsp. salt
Turn your grill (or grill pan) to medium-high and cut your peppers into large, flat pieces (a pepper usually has 3 or 4 obvious flat sides). Brush the peppers with olive oil and place them on the grill for about 5 minutes on each side. You want your peppers to develop a nice char and become tender, but not mushy.
Remove the peppers from the grill and let cool. Dice grilled peppers and add them to a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and toss lightly with a spoon. Serve immediately or keep refrigerated in a tight container for up to a week.
Makes about 3 – 4 cups salsa.