Yield: Yields 2 cups.
Zingy, refreshing salsas are easy to improvise—simply balance the proportions of ingredients according to taste. Top burritos, tacos, enchiladas, nachos, chili, or bean soups; add to omelets and scrambled eggs; use in place of ketchup on hamburgers and sandwiches; spoon onto grilled pork, beef, poultry, and fish; dip chips; dollop onto fritters and savory pancakes.
Roasted tomatillo and green chile: Arrange 1 lb. tomatillos (husks removed), 1 fresh poblano, 2 jalapeños, and 4 scallions on a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Broil until softened and dark in spots, about 12 minutes, turning once during cooking. When cool, remove the skin, stems, and seeds from the chiles. Dice all the vegetables and combine with 1/2 minced small onion, 1 minced clove garlic, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste.
Tropical fruit: Dice and combine 1 large mango, 1 large papaya, and 2 small kiwis. Add 1 cup diced pineapple, 1/3 cup diced red bell pepper, 1/4 cup diced red onion, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves, 1 to 2 cored, seeded, and minced jalapeños, 1 Tbs. lime juice, and a pinch each of salt and cayenne.
Grilled corn, tomato, and chipotle: Rub 2 ears of husked corn with olive oil and grill over medium-hot coals until slightly blackened, about 10 minutes. Grill 5 plum tomatoes until the skins are blistered and charred, about 8 minutes. Scrape the kernels from the cobs and dice the tomatoes. Combine the corn and tomatoes with 1/4 cup very finely diced red onion, 1 finely chopped canned chipotle chile, 2 Tbs. lime juice, 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh oregano (or 2 tsp. dried), and salt to taste.
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