Byrd doesn't know she's a posh poodle. When her ears are all askew and she's running through the apartment with a half-decapitated stuffed hedgehog in her mouth, posh is the last thing that comes to mind. She's a rough and tumble fetchin' machine, and in case you couldn't tell, she is finally recovered enough from her knee surgery to play again! We couldn't be more thrilled.
Though she's not posh, Byrd does eat posh food of mommy's choosing. In a roundabout way, I have her to thank for this Spicy Peach and Cucumber Salsa recipe. I was at the local organic grocery store last week picking up a bag of her select kibble when I noticed a bowl of this surprising salsa sitting out to sample. I usually pass up samples, but the unexpected combination of peaches and cucumbers caught my eye, so I took a small nibble.
Suddenly, it was the 4th of July all over again -- fireworks in my mouth! Spicy chipotle; refreshing cucumbers; succulent peaches all mingled on a cayenne-pepper laced blue corn chip. There were so many experiences in each bite: tangy, sweet, hot, acidic, cool, juicy. I'd heard of mango salsa, pineapple salsa, but this salsa was a revelation for me. A delicious, tasty, yummy revelation. So much so that I thought about it the whole way home.
The next day after my Jazzercise class (are you still laughing about that?!), I drove back to the organic grocery determined to find the recipe's creator. And find him I did! Michael works at the grocery and is quite the home chef himself. After spending months in Mexico, he now lives in North Carolina and has his own garden plot replete with tomatoes. He was kind enough to share his recipe, and I scrawled it down on the back of an old grocery list.
My aunt and uncle recently visited from Missouri (hello, Show Me State readers!) and I served them this salsa before a delicious cookout on a balmy day. Mine wasn't as spectacular as Michael's, but it was still a success. This is really one of those recipes where you have to add a little, taste a little, add a little more. Fiddle with it until it suits your taste, and then let it sit in the fridge for a half hour or so and meld. I'll keep practicing until mine is as fantastic as the original!
Also, a note about chips. I tried this salsa on Garden of Eatin' Red Hot Blues, and I can't recommend them enough. This is not a sponsored endorsement (though I will accept as many free bags of these chips as they feel like sending me -- are you out there, Garden of Eatin'?), just good ol' fashioned personal opinion. These organic blue corn chips are coated in a fine speckle of cayenne pepper and were the perfect complement to the cool sweetness of the salsa. If you're not a fan of heat, Garden of Eatin' also makes a regular blue corn chip that I'm sure is fantastic as well. And everyone likes eating blue chips, right?
I know at first you might have some salsa skepticism -- peach and cucumber is definitely an unusual combination -- but give this recipe a try. One tiny bite of this salsa inspired a day of obsessive googling and a half-hour drive just to get the recipe. It must be good. And Michael, if you're reading this, make sure to drop me an email or comment to let me know you saw the post -- in true Julie fashion, I've lost your email address!
Spicy Peach and Cucumber Salsa
Recipe by: Michael
Yields: 3 cups of salsa
1-1.5 cups diced, unpeeled cucumber (about 1-2)*
2-2.5 cups diced, peeled, pitted peaches (about 3-4)
1/4-1/2 can of chipotle peppers, diced (depending on your heat tolerance)**
2 tablespoons chopped mint
3 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons peach preserves
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Season salsa to taste with salt. Prepare up to 2 hours ahead, cover, and refrigerate until serving. Stir to blend before serving.
*I recommend doing an even finer dice on your cucumber and peach than I did, for texture's sake.
**Chipotle chiles come canned in adobo. Make sure to wear gloves while chopping and not to touch your face or eyes.