I have to admit, as much as I’m looking forward to Autumn (seriously--can’t wait!), this salsa could make me wish that Summer would stick around just a bit longer. And we’re in the beginning of a week long heat wave, so that’s saying something! This Watermelon Nectarine Salsa with Baked Tortilla Chips could make me forget about the cooler weather--for about a week or two, at least.
I got a link to a similar version of this salsa in an email from McCormick. Right away, I knew I had to make it. I changed it up somewhat to reflect what I had on hand, and what was fresh at the moment. Peaches? Love them, but they’re fuzzy, and I had no intention of peeling peaches if I didn’t have to. Nectarines are fuzz free. Also? I wasn’t completely sold on mint, red onion, and thyme. They weren’t speaking to me. No worries! Jal A. Peno, Basil Green, and Zest E. Lime were talking to me that day!
The chips are super easy. Dusted with cinnamon sugar and baked to a crispy goodness--these would be good with so many things. Even by themselves, they’re a great snack. Billy, who was doing the sous chef thing for me, took a couple stacks of chips and decided to fry them. Now, I’m not saying that the baked ones aren’t the best thing since fried chips? But the fried ones? Oh. Just--oh. Fried, drained on brown paper, and lightly dusted with tangy lime salt--bring ‘em on, baby! Plus, if your oil is hot enough, whatever you’re frying will sear on the outside, preventing too much oil from seeping into the food. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it, ok? We also tried this on regular old corn chips, and it was still fabulous that way, so if you don’t feel like making the chips, don’t sweat it.
The salsa itself isn’t too sweet, but that depends on how ripe your fruit is. So taste when it’s all mixed and flavors have melded, and adjust if you need to with lime juice or a touch of sugar, agave or even honey. I find that the sugar on the chips is the perfect balance, so I don’t want my salsa any sweeter than it is.
Watermelon Nectarine Salsa with Homemade Chips-Two Ways
makes about 6 cups
3 cups watermelon, cut into 1 inch cubes
3 cups nectarine, cut into 1 inch cubes
6 tbsp orange juice (I used fresh, but store bought is fine)
1/2 jalapeno, finely diced (seeds and ribs removed for less heat)
3 tbsp fresh basil, cut into a Chiffonade (thin ribbons)
1 tsp fresh lime zest
pinch of salt
Add all ingredients to a medium sized bowl.
Gently stir to combine, then set aside in the fridge for a half hour to an hour to let the flavors mingle.
Serve cold with your favorite chips. Store any leftover salsa in the fridge, and chips in an airtight container.
Homemade Tortilla Chips, Two Ways
12 (8 inch) flour tortillas
4 tbsp sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl-set aside.
Stack a few tortillas at a time and cut into wedges. A pizza cutter works great for this!
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Lay the tortilla wedges out in single layers on each pan.
Spray the wedges lightly with oil, then sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar.
Bake 10-12 minutes or until firm to the touch and all traces of the oil are gone.
Remove from pan and cool completely on cooling racks.
If you prefer, you can heat up some oil, and fry the chips that way. An inch or so of oil, good and hot, and drop the chips in. Fry until golden brown, remove and drain on brown paper, then sprinkle with salt or cinnamon sugar.
- This is a wonderful and versatile way to make good use of the abundance of late summer fruits. So fresh!
- Makes a nice change of pace on a summer party table, and especially good for Labor Day cookouts that are coming this weekend!
- As much as I love tomato salsa, I find that the raw onion can really bug me later, so the absence of onion in this one may be just what you or your guests are looking for!
- I’m wondering if just a touch of cinnamon would be good in this. If any of you decide to try that, please let me know how it turns out!
- Oh! I just realized this would be nice with grilled chicken or pork, too!