This Strawberry Salsa is a sweet, tangy, and refreshing summer fruit salsa. Perfect for utilizing your farmer’s market haul of berries and herbs!
I’ve become such a fan of fresh fruit salsa the past few years.
Don’t get me wrong: I love a good bowl of traditional garden salsa, or a tangy salsa verde. But, sweet, ripe summer fruits make incredible salsas (like this recipe using pineapple). They are perfect for serving with sweet and savory “dippers” and using in a multitude of recipes from breakfast to dessert.
One of my favorite fruit salsa recipes is this vibrant Strawberry Salsa. I combine juicy diced berries with a splash of balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, cracked black pepper, and fresh herbs.
The berries macerate in the sugar and vinegar and produce a rich, sweet-tangy elixir. It’s a refreshing combination of savory and sweet on a hot summer day.
Tips for Making Strawberry Salsa
This Strawberry Salsa recipe comes together in minutes and is perfect for busy summer entertaining. It’s a one-bowl recipe: just chop, mix, and serve.
Strawberry Salsa is best served shortly after it’s made, as the berries will continue to macerate and release their juices the longer it sits.
Fun Read: Fruit Transcendent: How Maceration Works from Saveur Magazine
For best results, you’ll want to find the sweetest summer strawberries available. If you end up with a basket that’s more to the tart side, you can always add additional brown sugar, to taste, to balance out the flavors.
How To Pick Strawberries at the Grocery Store or Farm Market
Wondering how to pick the best berries at the market? A couple of indicators that will help you bring the most flavorful, juiciest strawberries home.
- Strawberry Color: Look for strawberries that are a bright, vibrant red from tip to stem. Sometimes, you’ll see a white or yellowish-red area that creeps down from the top of the berry. Berries with this coloration are underripe. I pass on these for consistently red strawberries.
- Stems and Tops: Look for a vibrant green color here with fresh-looking leaves that aren’t starting to whither.
- Aroma: Fresh, ripe berries will be fragrant. Smell your produce! You’ll be able to pick up the aroma of sweetness in ripe strawberries.
- Shape Doesn’t Matter: Some of the most delicious strawberries I’ve eaten have been both oddly shaped and perfectly-shaped. Strawberry shape doesn’t make a difference, unless you need them to be uniform for a recipe.
- Avoid: Berries that are very-tightly packed (I find that they’re prone to bruising) or those exhibiting any appearance or smell of mold or fermentation.
Check out more tips for shopping for fruit with: Here Are the Signs to Tell if Your Fruit is Actually Ripe from Spoon University
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you still get tart strawberries. It happens to all of us!
Bear in mind that balsamic vinegar introduces another layer of tang to this strawberry salsa. If you’re starting with especially tart berries, you’ll want to reduce the vinegar slightly and/or add more sugar. Play around with the proportions to find the balance that works best for your particular strawberry haul.
Serve it up! How to Use Strawberry Salsa
The uses for this Strawberry Salsa recipe are pretty much endless. It’s great on waffles, in lunch wraps, and even on top of ice cream.
But, when serving this recipe, I most often turn to what I’ve come to call the “4-C’s” of Strawberry Salsa: Chips, Chicken, Crostini, and (Short)Cake.
- Chips: Lightly-salted or cinnamon pita chips are great for dipping.
- Chicken: Use the salsa to top grilled chicken breasts.
- Crostini: Spread toasted baguette slices with mascarpone cheese (sweetened with honey, if desired), and top with dollops of the fruit salsa. You could also use ricotta, like in this Strawberry Bruschetta from Homemade and Yummy.
- (Short)Cake: Fill layers of buttermilk biscuits with lightly-sweetened whipped cream and spoonfuls of strawberry salsa.
Strawberry Salsa with Balsamic and Herbs
- 1 pound strawberries , trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1-3 tablespoons light brown sugar , depending on how sweet your berries are
- 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper , plus additional, to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
- Stir together strawberries, balsamic vinegar, light brown sugar, and black pepper. Let stand 15 minutes. Stir in basil and mint. Season to taste with additional black pepper. Serve!
- Dip with your favorite crackers or pita chips.
- Top grilled chicken, steak, or fish.
- Make crostini: spread slices of toasted baguette with mascarpone cheese and top with a dollop of strawberry balsamic salsa. If desired, sweeten mascarpone with a bit of honey (stir in about 1 tablespoon to a cup of cheese, to taste).
- Make shortcakes: Layer lightly-sweetened whipped cream and strawberry balsamic salsa onto your favorite biscuits!
Originally published June 22, 2017.