Summer’s bounty initially inspires one to showcase seasonal fruit with strawberry shortcakes and blueberry pies. That inspiration is soon replaced with desperation. That fruit needs to be used by yesterday, and you still haven’t finished all that pie. By making fruity corn salsa, you can use summer fruits and vegetables in tandem, even those that are on the verge of losing their luster.
The idea of a fruity corn salsa might strike an odd chord on paper, but in practice the flavors are in complete harmony. Despite our tendency to equate “ripe” with “sweet,” many fruits, like strawberries, tomatoes, peaches, and pineapples, lean tart. This acidity is the bridge that carries savory flavors along for the ride. Fresh corn bulks up the salsa and adds an enjoyable texture, and there’s really no limit to how much corn you can use.
Texture is key in this salsa. Instead of throwing everything in a food processor and giving it hell, I crushed the fruits by hand. It’s not a common salsa making method, but doing so lets you hold on to more of the fruit’s texture without ripping everything apart, and the torn, exposed surface area clings on to more of the salsa juices in the end. For texture’s sake, I don’t recommend using frozen ingredients for this salsa.
I used a few tablespoons of pico de gallo from the store to add tomatoes, peppers, herbs, and onion to my salsa, but if you have these fresh ingredients on hand, by all means, chop them up instead. To make your own fruity corn salsa, cut the kernels off of two ears of corn. (Don’t forget to milk your corn, too.) Add the kernels and corn milk to a serving bowl.
Crush a cup or two each of strawberries and watermelon chunks with a mortar and pestle or molcajete. If you don’t have that, use a bowl and the back of a wooden spoon. A lot of juices will be released. Pour the juices and crushed fruits into the corn bowl. Add four tablespoons of fresh pico de gallo. Alternatively, you can deseed and chop half a medium tomato, two sprigs of cilantro, a small deseeded jalepeño, and a quarter of a medium white onion. Toss all of these lovely ingredients together in the serving bowl with a half teaspoon of salt.
Fresh salsa tools you might need:
This salsa can be doubled or quadrupled for a crowd. Make it just before serving for the best texture. It’s stellar served with a bag of salty corn chips, but it would be just as fitting on a hot dog or alongside barbecued ribs. The strawberry and watermelon components are flexible. Swap them out for any fleshy, watery fruit, like pineapple chunks, peaches, or plums.
Fruity Corn Salsa
Table of Contents
- 2 ears of corn, kernels cut off the cob, with corn milk reserved
- 2 cups of strawberries
- 1 cup of watermelon chunks
- 4 tablespoons of pico de gallo
- ½ teaspoon salt
Add the corn kernels to a large serving bowl. Hull the strawberries. Crush the strawberries and watermelon chunks to break down the fruit and release their juices. Add them to the corn bowl along with the corn milk. Stir in pico de gallo and salt until well combined. Serve at your cookout with a bag of tortilla chips.