Camp Kitchen: Salsas At The Campsite

May 29, 2008
Filed under Camping Recipes, Main Dishes, Snacks

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No matter what you have sizzling on the grill, from steaks to tofu burgers, the right salsa can turn a so-so supper into a memorable meal. Whip up salsa on the spot in a blender, food processor, smoothie maker or a wooden bowl with chopper.

Peachy Pineapple Salsa

Try it with grilled ham steak, chicken, or turkey burgers. Cilantro and parsley have distinct tastes. Try it both ways.

8-ounce can crushed pineapple

8-ounce can diced peaches

1 bunch scallions, white and light green parts finely sliced

1/3-cup lemon or lime juice

1-tablespoon minced garlic

Small can diced chilies, drained

1/2-cup finely snipped cilantro or parsley

Combine peaches and pineapple, including juices, with remaining ingredients. Chill.

Cranberry-Chive Salsa

This sweet salsa complements any grilled or roasted meat. It’s also good on top of hot, brown rice. The gelatin can be regular or sugar-free.

1 packet lemon gelatin dessert

1 cup boiling water

1/2-cup dried cranberries

2 cans whole-berry cranberry sauce

1 large red onion

6-ounce package radishes

1 bunch fresh chives (about 1 cup)

1 teaspoon cumin (or more to taste)

Salt, freshly ground pepper

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water and add dried cranberries. Let steep 5 minutes or more. Mash in cranberry sauce and mix well. Trim and finely cut up onion and radishes. Mince chives. Stir into salsa with the cumin. Season to taste.

Black Bean Salsa

2 15.5-ounce cans black beans

Small can diced chilies, drained

Medium sweet onion, finely diced

2 plum tomatoes, diced

Juice of 1 lime

1/2-cup finely snipped cilantro

Salt, pepper

No need for a strainer. Open beans leaving lid attached. Drain, add water to rinse and drain again. Repeat. In a bowl combine beans, chilies, onion, tomatoes, limejuice and cilantro. Season to taste.

More Salsa Steps

* Start with basic, bottled salsa and try adding diced sweet onion, celery, snipped parsley and a can of corn, cut-up papaya or mango to invent your own salsa recipes.

* Alternate sweet salsas containing fruit with savory salsas made with vegetables.

* To revive canned soups or vegetables, heat, then stir in a heaping tablespoon or two of salsa.

* Add almost any sweet or savory salsa to baked beans.

* Make black bean salsa, spoon over fire-roasted baked potatoes and top with a generous tuft of grated cheese and you have a one-dish vegetarian meal.

* Spoon salsa generously over hot, buttered cornbread and eat with a fork.

* Classic tomato salsa turns ordinary breakfast eggs into saucy Huevos Rancheros.

* Add leftover salsa to meatloaf or burger mix.

* Make breakfast shortcakes with biscuits, sausage patties and mango salsa.

* Stuck for a quick starch course? Make individual bowls of instant grits and top each with a spoonful of salsa and a tuft of shredded cheese.

* Except for Salsa Verde, salsa should have crunch, texture and small chunks. If using a blender or food processor, pulse only until it’s the right consistency.

* Combine finely diced apple, raisins, lemon juice, orange juice and minced parsley to make salsa for grilled turkey “mignons”.

* Bake your own or a store-bought quiche and serve with salsa on the side.

For more Janet Groene recipes, visit


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