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I can remember when salsa meant a tomato-based, chili enriched, onion and cilantro-adorned accompaniment to a Mexican meal. My husband and I are from the great state of New Mexico (and, yes, it is a state…check the map) and he actually hails from the chili capital of the world; the Hatch valley. So there!

Given our background, you may understand our aversion to the plagiarism of the word “salsa” for any kind of chopped, mixed fresh fruit or vegetable. This is a California-chefy trend and out in the wilds of New Mexico we used to shoot people for that sort of thing.

Time, however, marches on and I have resigned myself to the fact that foodies have misappropriated the term salsa and that we are never going to be able to restore it to its rightful place amidst the chili and bean fields of the Southwest.P1010883

The other night, our nineteen year old created an enchilada casserole with some leftover chili and beans from our recent speech and debate tournament. The casserole was good but the simple apple salsa that she created to go with it was fabulous. Hannah is someone who craves fresh fruits and vegetables and this particular dish added a wonderful light flair to a heavy dish.

Hannah Jane’s Fresh Apple Salsa

1 red apple ( all diced)
1/2 red onion
1/2 cucumber
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 yellow bell pepper
1 carrot

1/2 orange
1/2 lime
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper

cilantro (optional)
(this served seven)

As I reached for the dish for a second time I heard my own voice asking for the apple salsa and (I’ll admit) I didn’t even have a twinge of conscience….it’s that good.

The picture is a bit dim so don’t be fooled. This salsa is the perfect cheerer-upper on a gray January evening.