Sunday, December 12, 2010

Summer Salad Turned Into Anytime Anything Salsa

My favorite salad is my “summer salad.”

Summer Salad 0001

The simple salad has tomatoes (preferably homegrown), cucumbers (often homegrown), corn (if possible freshly cut off the cob), black beans, red onions, edamame, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. Sometimes I add avocado or fresh herbs, such as basil or cilantro, as well. I love the fresh flavors in the salad and can never get enough of it. In fact, I usually have some in the fridge in the spring, summer, and early fall. But I don’t make it much in the winter months as it just doesn’t taste the same when the ingredients aren’t in season.

When we were invited to an annual potluck holiday party, I thought about what to bring. It was supposed to be a savory appetizer-type of dish (as the hostess always provides more than enough amazing sweet treats). Somehow I couldn’t get my summer salad out of my head. So I decided to turn the salad into a salsa and serve it with some new chips hubby and the toddler “discovered” at Costco while I was shopping for some gifts (the bag is HUGE…).

Anytime Anything Salsa
  • 1 jar Trader Joe’s Corn and Chile Tomato-Less Salsa
  • 1 can organic black beans
  • Cherry tomatoes, cut into small pieces
  • Edamame, halved
  • Cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lemon
The salsa turned out delicious; the Corn and Chile Tomato-Less Salsa provided a nice “base” for the dish. While the salsa doesn’t taste as fresh as my summer salad (in season), it is a nice change from “regular salsa.”

Here are the chips I brought along with the salsa (Blue Ginger Multi-Grain Brown Rice Chips, by Ming Tsai of Blue Ginger Restaurant). They were delicious, light, and flavorful and not too salty (but they contain still quite a bit of sodium, and I made sure to fit them into my overall daily salt consumption). I like that a serving is 33 chips; I definitely felt very satisfied after eating 33 chips (yes, I did count them!!!). I’ll definitely buy them again (but I will probably try to find a smaller bag somewhere….).

Questions: What dish(es) do you usually bring to a potluck? I often bring some sort of salsa/dip and chips and/or veggies. I often used to bring pita bread and veggies with homemade hummus, often flavored three different ways. However, since I can’t eat hummus anymore, I don’t really make it anymore. What’s your favorite food to eat at a (holiday) party? If there is “good” cheese, I’ll have to have some. And I always go for one really good-looking/sounding dessert.

Finally, are you interested in trying Wendy’s new fries for free? I’m giving away a $10 gift card. Click here to enter the giveaway; you have until Monday, December 13 at 9:00 p.m. PST to enter.

Be well,


  1. So pretty and colorful- you've actually inspired me for my lunch salad that I'm already craving right now. Makes such a difference to have all those colors and textures! Thanks!

    Love the idea of all those homegrown veggies- when we (FINALLY< EVER?!?!) finish our landscaping, we've built in an area for a veg garden and I'm in need of good ideas for what will grown in my coastal/foggy area of so cal.

    My go-to dish is a simple guac that has people CLAMORING for more- avo, dollup of sasa, garlic powder, lemon juice, salt, pep. The end. And so good.

  2. Love the simplicity and healthiness of this meal, just looks delicious without a lot of effort. Exactly what I'm seeking right now,

  3. I usually bring desserts because then I can bake and not end up eating all of it! :)

  4. This looks wonderful, Andrea! And the new chips discovery sounds great too. Trader Joe's never fails me with their chips, they are always delicious.

    My favorite thing to bring to a holiday party is something packed with fruits and/or veggies. Or a healthy dessert. This way I know there will be something I can eat a LOT of, and still be ok drinking some heavy eggnog ;)

  5. Oh, by the way, Cat Cora was promoting her book at Market District, and her new show on Oprah's TV station. I didn't stay for the whole thing, because I obviously had to work!

  6. I've brought the same hokey crab and shrimp dip made with cream cheese, green onion, cocktail sauce and lemon to a bunch of pot lucks and people DEVOUR it.

    I'll always eat anything vegetarian I can find at pot lucks. It's a great way to get new ideas and recipes. I got a really lovely quinoa salad recipe that way just a couple of weeks ago.

  7. This is such a festive and colorful medley. This is a great idea for having a summer salad anytime.

  8. The salsa looks dellcious and very colorful! I love finding new recipes to bring to potlucks. A lot of times I end up bringing a healthy dessert or fruit/veggies/

  9. I loev the colors in your favorite salad. They just pop!

  10. I love TJ's corn and chile salsa. What a great combination of flavors and textures you have going on here.

  11. I love your dish! That looks excellent. Even though you normally make it in the summer months, it is probably a nice change in the winter.

    I love to bring dips and desserts to parties. A good salsa is always happily accepted at a party.

  12. That looks so colorful - love it!

    I haven't been to a pot luck in ages, but back when I was a single Mom - my go to was this:

    Buy a 5 pound bag of potatoes for .99 cents. Wash and dry well. Cover with olive oil, coarse salt and cracked pepper and bake.

    I plan it so that they are done when I am just about to head out the door - then individually wrapped them in foil, but in a basket with a tub of cheap margarine and a package of bacon bits - totally cheap and they would all be gone!

  13. I take a variety of things, it just depends on the type of party, time of year and so on. I always take something healthy that I can eat plenty of. Sometimes I will also take something more high calorie that I want to have a small portion of without having the leftovers at home to tempt me.

    I love hummus or other kinds of bean dips, veggie and fresh fruit platters are always a huge hit no matter how much other fattening stuff there is.

  14. That looks fantastic! I gotta check out those Brown Rice chips!! never had those kind. :)

  15. Wow, nice the colors...I have to try the corn and chile from TJ :-)

  16. Gorgeous colors! I bet CA has better produce this time of year. I have a feeling my salsa would turn out under-ripe and way over-priced...the definite down side to winters. :(

    I usually like to bring a unique appetizer to potlucks...stuffed dates, etc. Mmm!

  17. A terrific salsa, very refreshing and delicious, definitely would go with so many things!

  18. That salsa looks terrific! I love that it's bright and chunky....perfect to be scooped up by a crispy chip!

  19. Hi- I'm back, and have internet again! Wow that looks perfect so perfect i even have every single ingredient on hand...except chips. Avocado sounds great! Umm I'm going to go eat some avocados.