Salsas just keep showing up on my blog this summer! Sorry for the repetition but I couldn’t help myself. Their fresh, refreshing texture and spicy flavour is practically addictive and oh so perfect for the season.
The ease of throwing together this simple watermelon and tomato salsa got me thinking about how much easier it is to cook at home during the summer months. For some reason, as soon as the calendar flips to June, it feels as though there is less pressure, that there are fewer holidays to worry about and that less planning is required when it comes to making good food. This is a good thing because preparing more home-cooked meals is better for our health than dining out.
Summer can of course be a hectic time of year, but it’s actually the perfect time to kick start a home cooking regimen (or boost your existing routine). Here are a few reasons why:
1. In-season produce is ripe for the picking, making it easier to create a variety of dishes featuring fresh fruits and vegetables. Cherries, tomatoes, summer squash, stone fruits, wild blueberries, corn, peas and radishes are in season now so get ’em while they’re good! This Mediterranean zucchini pasta recipe is a great way to use up large amounts of zucchini.
2. Having the option of grilling throughout the warmer months helps keep things interesting. You can marinate foods before slapping them on the grill, thread them onto skewers, smoke them, slow-cook them, sear them. It’s a great way to jazz up vegetables, seafood and lean meats. Plus, barbecuing is easy and almost impossible to mess up.
3. Many of our favourite summertime dishes are inherently quick and easy to make. Overall there tends to be a whole lot less simmering, stewing, baking and other longer, involved cooking methods in the summer. Quick and easy summer dishes that come to mind include heirloom tomato salads, corn on the cob, fresh salsas, grilled salmon and skewers of all kinds.
4. Foods typically enjoyed in the summer are almost always casual and just right for a lazy day. This makes it all that much easier to whip up simple meals like rustic panzanella salad, healthy potato salad, quick barbecued steak or a basic veggie platter with Greek yogurt ranch dip.
Inspired to get your cooking on? This watermelon tomato salsa is a must try summer appetizer. Like the watermelon, feta and pumpkin seed salad I wrote about last week, it was born out of sheer necessity: we were simply overrun with watermelon! #watermelonproblems
Anyway, watermelon and tomato may seem like an unlikely pair, but for some reason it works. I served it with some spicy grilled shrimp skewers and fresh corn tortillas from the farmer’s market, but it would go equally well with some tortilla chips or homemade baked pita chips.
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 6 medium tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 small watermelon (~ 2 cups) diced
- 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- Juice of 1 lime
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Place the red onion in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Let sit for a few minutes to lessen the strong flavour. Drain.
- To a medium-sized bowl, add the onion, tomatoes, watermelon, cilantro and lime juice; season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for ~30 minutes to let flavours meld before serving, if desired.
- Serve as an appetizer with tortilla chips, or spoon over grilled fish, scallops, shrimp or chicken.