We didn’t get many early-season peaches in Central NY this summer. The ones in the local markets never met my buy-me criteria: they never seduced me with their peachy aroma as soon as I entered the stand or market. Yes, I know I could have used nectarines — but they didn’t convince me, either. Now some small harvests of aromatic peaches are finally showing up in the market. While their aroma is calling me to gather enough peaches to make jam, it also makes me crave some sharp, spicy peach salsa.
In 1994, just outside Hilton Head, South Carolina, I picked up my first jar of homemade peach salsa. Since that summer vacation, I’ve improvised on many recipes, attempting to duplicate the sweet-hot spicy goodness I’d found in that farm stand jar of salsa. Here are some internet sources for both fresh and canned peach salsa recipes I’ve tried along the way:
From The Seasonal Chef (www.seasonalchef.com), these five variations of Peach Salsa include a recipe with honey, another with tomatoes, one with mint, and two which use increasingly hot varieties of peppers.
Here are fresh peach (and other fruit) salsa recipes from Great-Salsa.com
You can also find several peach salsa recipes at That’s my Home
Christis’s Corner has a fresh peach salsa that only needs 3 or 4 fresh peaches for those times when you can only get a few peaches at a time. You can also make it with frozen peaches.
My peach salsa recipe combines peaches, sweet and hot peppers, basil, red onions and garlic, along with lime juice and white balsamic vinegar. It’s a bit of work to can from a small harvest, but the taste is such a strong reminder of my summer vacation in Hilton Head that I make it as often as I can.
4 cups peaches – peeled and chopped
1 cup red onion – chopped
1 jalapeno pepper – chopped fine (about 1/4 cup)
1 red pepper – chopped (about 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil – loosely packed*
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar*
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon lime zest
2 tablespoons honey
2 cloves garlic – finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (or to taste)
- The peaches should be chopped in a coarse 1/2 inch dice. The peppers should be in smaller dice. It’s okay to use slightly under-ripe peaches, and to leave under-ripe peaches unpeeled for a bit of contrast.
- * If you prefer, you can use cilantro or Italian flat-leaf parsley instead of the chopped basil. If you can’t get white balsamic vinegar, white wine or white distilled vinegar will be fine.
- Simmer all of the ingredients for 5 minutes. Pack into hot jars, cover with caps and bands and tighten according to direction. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes (0-1000 ft.), 15 minutes (1001-6000 ft.), and 20 minutes (above 6000 ft.).