What would you consider your favorite summertime snack? I can’t really think of a snack for noshing on hot summer days that is more refreshing or easier to prepare than fresh salsa and chips — other than maybe a quesadilla with fresh salsa. (That, however, would require more work in addition to heating a stove or grill, both of which are rather unappealing to me whilst my lazy self is enduring sweltering mid-day heat.)
I’ve whipped up this tropical Papaya Salsa for years now, and it’s always a homerun. I’ve also replaced the papaya with mango or pineapple (primarily in accordance with the ingredients I have on hand), but anyway you dice it, this is the go-to summer salsa recipe in mi casa! And since June happens to be “National Papaya Month”, there’s seemingly no better time than now to share it with you:
The Best Ever Papaya Salsa
(Yields 2 cups) Prep time: 20 minutes
- 1 large, ripe papaya, peeled, seeds scooped out, and pulp diced into small (1/4″) pieces
- 1/2 white onion, diced into small pieces
- 1 large avocado, diced into small pieces
- 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
- 1/4-1/2 cup finely diced fresh red bell pepper
- 1-2 finely chopped serrano peppers, seeds and membranes removed (use jalapeños for less “heat”)
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- the juice of one lime
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and gently stir to blend.
Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and let the salsa rest at room temperature for about an hour, allowing the flavors to “get all happy together”, then cool in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or so.
Serve with chips and cool refreshments. I promise you can’t go wrong with an ice-cold beer from San Diego’s very own Ballast Point Brewing Company. Salud!
Note: This tropical salsa also adds incredible flavor to grilled fish, chicken or pork.