Cook: Summer fruit salsa with cinnamon sugar tortilla chips

It’s strawberry season – hip hip hooray! I know, strawberries are readily available (and not even that expensive) all year round, but those big, bright red berries whose beauty lures me into buying them all too often disappoint – they look like strawberries, but they’re almost completely tasteless and crunchy to boot. It’s always such a let down that I hardly ever buy those things that pose as strawberries anymore. EXCEPT during May and June. That’s when the actual, real, sweet, juicy strawberries reappear. Then it’s time to buy pounds and pounds every week, and eat them like crazy. (And if you’re lucky enough to live near a u-pick strawberry patch, get yourself out there post haste! Even fantastic store bought berries can’t compete with a flat of freshly picked berries.)

So, if you’re at all crazy about strawberries like I am, you might be up for trying a new strawberry recipe. With that in mind, I bring you this beautiful dish:

It’s so easy to make it probably can’t even be considered a recipe. The salsa itself consists of one pound of strawberries and one crunchy apple, diced, plus another fruit of your choice (I made it using a mango this time and it was fabulous!). The best part about the salsa is that it works with any number of fruits: nectarines, peaches, kiwi, other berries, plums, etc. I’ve even made it using a can of peaches instead of the strawberries in the dead of winter and it still tastes good. Just dice up all your fruit and stir to combine. You won’t need any sugar because the chips will add a little extra sweetness. If you’ll be eating the salsa within a few hours it’s fine to leave out on the counter – it will actually taste sweeter if it’s at room temperature. (You can refrigerate it overnight, but I don’t know how much longer than that it would last. Oh, and don’t use bananas. They’ll get mushy.)

On to the chips! I originally made these by melting butter and brushing it over flour tortillas, then sprinkling on a mix of cinnamon and sugar. But then I realized it would be faster and just as tasty to give each tortilla a quick spritz of cooking spray instead of melting and brushing on butter.

So, start with flour tortillas. Any size is fine, but small ones make better sized wedges. Spray each tortilla with nonstick cooking spray (make sure it’s pretty well covered), then liberally sprinkle with cinnamon sugar (I’d say about 4 parts sugar to 1 part cinnamon, but whatever you like will be great).

I keep cinnamon sugar mixed up in a spice jar so it’s easy to shake out onto toast or these tortillas. Once each tortilla is topped, cut into wedges using a pizza slicer and place in a 425 degree oven for 10-12 minutes. You want the edges to be just barely golden brown and start to feel crunchy. They should look like this when they come out:

They’ll crisp up a bit as they cool. Be careful not to overcook because they’re pretty gross if they get burnt. I recommend setting your timer for 8 minutes, then sticking close to the oven to watch them for the last few minutes.

Once out of the oven, let them cool for a few minutes, then start scooping up salsa with them.

Absolutely delicious. And not nearly as guilty as most of the absolutely delicious things that comes from my kitchen. Now go get some strawberries!

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