Taking a cue from international cuisines, The Purple Onion suggests you spice up your summer and fall menus with chutneys and salsas that make use of the plentiful fresh fruits and produce of this season.
Chutney is traditionally a condiment of Indian origin. It is often a sweet and sour combination of ingredients, such as fruits and herbs with spices and seasonings. Chutneys are an integral part of Indian cuisine and are served with everything from basmati rice to breads to curry dishes.
Their vinegary tang and bright notes also make them wonderful accompaniments to roasted and grilled meats and vegetables. They are also often paired with creamy brie or goat cheeses and crackers on appetizer trays.
Chutney can be mixed with Greek yogurt for a dip or pureed and used as a glaze for meats and sweet potatoes. It makes just as good a dipping sauce for egg rolls as it does for samosas, and can add a nice heat to a chicken salad.
We like the bright taste of the Beet Chutney with spicy curried foods and with grilled chicken. It’s got a kick, so you might want to serve it with a yogurt raita for a cooling balance for your meal. Try it on a burger, too.
The Bing Cherry Chutney could be great with creamy cheese and crackers on an appetizer tray. We also think you’ll enjoy it with grilled lamb or fish.
Giving rhubarb a break from its traditional use in a pie with cherries, we like the Rhubarb Chutney with pork chops or a mix of curried vegetables. It might be the perfect chutney to stir into chicken salad.
Salsa can be quite hot and always contains chiles. It often includes jalapeño or serrano peppers, tomatoes, onions, lime and cilantro. Today, you’ll find salsas that include fruits like mango and pineapple or vegetables like plantains and corn.
Low in calories, salsas contain little to no fat and many of their ingredients contribute vitamins and minerals to our diets. While we are suggesting three fresh versions of salsa here, this condiment can also be cooked. They can be smooth or textured, thin or thick, and range from mildly spicy to fiery hot.
Salsas, like chutneys, aren’t just used for one purpose. You can pour them over eggs, fajitas, seafood stews, potato dishes, grilled and roasted meats and chicken. They are popular for dips with tortillas, burritos and tacos, and as a topping for quesadillas and enchiladas.
The Classic Mexican Salsa is bright, fresh and quick to put together. By switching the pepper from serrano to jalapeno or using a mix of the two, you can change the heat factor in this traditional salsa recipe.
The Grilled Salsa Roja has a deeper flavor thanks to the roasted vegetables and is great with fish and shrimp.
The Lemony Salsa Verde can stand on its own with grilled shrimp, scallops or salmon. It adds a bright tang to grilled vegetables, too. Try it on grilled skewered vegetables and you’ll see what we mean!