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Happy Cinco de Mayo! Time to dig into this fruity salsa

Recipe: Fresh strawberry-orange salsa with green onions

Fresh strawberries combine with oranges and chilies for a fruity spring salsa

Fresh strawberries combine with oranges and chilies for a fruity spring salsa Debbie Arrington

What would Cinco de Mayo be without salsa? A lot less flavorful.

But this Mexican-inspired celebration falls in early May – long before fresh tomatoes are ripe in Northern California. Instead of basic tomato-based salsa, try this fruity alternative using two spring favorites: Strawberries and oranges.

Combined with fresh green onions (another spring favorite), the berries and citrus add a hint of sweetness along with a juicy crunch.

Versatile as well as colorful, this fruity salsa pairs well with pork, chicken, shrimp or cheese enchiladas, tacos or quesadillas. Also use it to top grilled pork chops or pork tenderloin or dress up a chicken breast.

Or just grab some tortilla chips and dig in.

Strawberry-orange salsa

Makes about 1 cup


1 orange

½ cup fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped

Salsa ingredients including strawberries and half an orange
Fruit and green onions flavor the spring salsa.

3 tablespoons green onions, chopped

1 tablespoon mild green chilies, diced

1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon red chile flakes

½ teaspoon sugar

¼ teaspoon garlic salt


Cut the orange in half. Peel and chop one half of the orange; reserve the other half.

In a medium bowl, combine chopped orange, strawberries, green onions, chilies and cilantro. Lightly toss.

Into a small bowl, squeeze juice of remaining orange half. To orange juice, add rice vinegar, olive oil, chile flakes, sugar and garlic salt; mix. Add to the fruit-onion mixture. Lightly toss.

Refrigerate, covered, until ready to use.


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Garden Checklist for week of May 19

Temperatures will be a bit higher than normal in the afternoons this week. Take care of chores early in the day – then enjoy the afternoon. It’s time to smell the roses.

* Plant, plant, plant! It’s prime planting season in the Sacramento area. If you haven’t already, it’s time to set out those tomato transplants along with peppers and eggplants. Pinch off any flowers on new transplants to make them concentrate on establishing roots instead of setting premature fruit.

* Direct-seed melons, cucumbers, summer squash, corn, radishes, pumpkins and annual herbs such as basil.

* Harvest cabbage, lettuce, peas and green onions.

* In the flower garden, direct-seed sunflowers, cosmos, salvia, zinnias, marigolds, celosia and asters.

* Plant dahlia tubers. Other perennials to set out include verbena, coreopsis, coneflower and astilbe.

* Transplant petunias, marigolds and perennial flowers such as astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia and verbena.

* Keep an eye out for slugs, snails, earwigs and aphids that want to dine on tender new growth.

* Feed summer bloomers with a balanced fertilizer.

* For continued bloom, cut off spent flowers on roses as well as other flowering plants.

* Don’t forget to water. Seedlings need moisture. Deep watering will help build strong roots and healthy plants.

* Add mulch to the garden to help keep that precious water from evaporating. Mulch also cuts down on weeds. But don’t let it mound around the stems or trunks of trees or shrubs. Leave about a 6-inch to 1-foot circle to avoid crown rot or other problems.

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