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There’s nothing that celebrates summer quite like sweet ripe peaches. This delicious Peach Jalapeño Salsa features juicy peaches, fresh red pepper, tomato and finely chopped red onion with the added kick of jalapeño and smoky chipotle pepper.
Serve this homemade peach salsa with grilled chicken, steak and fish. Or just scoop it up with tortilla chips for the ultimate summer appetizer. It’s the best peach jalapeño sauce ever!
Why We Love this Homemade Peach Salsa
- Peaches are one of my favourite summer fruits. They’re so versatile I’ve made peach cobbler, peach trifle, a 15-Minute Grilled Halibut with Peach Salsa, and even a Sparkling Peach Bourbon Punch,
- In just a few minutes you can whip up a batch of this salsa and enjoy it with tortilla chips. Or use it as peach salsa for fish. I’ve even tried it on ice cream and it was delicious!
- If you’ve ever made a fresh peach salad only to see the bright, beautiful peaches turn brown, you’ll love this salsa. Browning begins to happen as soon as you cut a peach thanks to enzymes that cause oxidization. But cooking the peaches prevents them from discolouring which means it can be made it advance and still look fabulous when you serve it.
- This homemade peach salsa contains 100% natural, good-for-you ingredients with zero additives or preservatives. It’s also low in sodium.
- Because it’s cooked it will last up to 7 days in the refrigerator and is a fantastic way to use a bounty of peaches.
What Month is Peach Season?
Peach season begins in July, hits its peak in August and continues through September. One of my favourite things to do in Toronto in the summer is to spend a day in an orchard on the Niagara Peninsula picking strawberries, stone fruit such as apricots, peaches, cherries, plums and peaches or apples.
My favourite orchard for picking peaches in Ontario is Cherry Avenue Farms. It’s been owned and operated by the Moyer Family since 1799. Check the Cherry Avenue Farms website for picking times.
It’s so much fun to spend a summer morning in an orchard, I always pick way too much fruit. So while making cobblers from fresh fruit, chutneys and salsas are another fantastic way to use up a basket of juicy ripe fruit.
This recipe can easily doubled to make enough to share with family and friends.
Main Ingredients for Fresh Peach Jalapeño Sauce
Fresh Peaches – There are three main types of peaches to choose from. Freestone peaches feature flesh that easily pulls away from the pit, while clingstone clings to the stone but are sweeter. Semi-freestone fall somewhere in between.
You can use any type of ripe peach to make salsa but yellow peaches provide the best colour.
Jalapeño – Adds a bit of heat to the salsa. You can substitute poblano or bell peppers if you’d like your salsa to be milder.
Red Pepper: Red bell peppers are crisp and mild tasting.
Cumin – This popular spice adds a depth of rich, earthy, sultry warm flavour.
Chipotle – Ground chipotle pepper contributes a smoky heat to this salsa. You can substitute one canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (chopped). If you have extra canned chipotle peppers, use them up in this recipe for Slow Cooker Chipotle Chicken Soup.
Cilantro – Fresh cilantro is an aromatic additions to salsas. It adds a bright flavour that complements many dishes such as grilled fish or chicken and tacos. You can substitute hierba buena (mint) for cilantro if you prefer.
Red Onion – The red colour and mild flavour makes these onions perfect for salsas.
Honey – Honey (or swap agave syrup) boosts the sweetness of the peaches.
White Vinegar – Contributes a light acidity that counterbalances the sweetness of the fruit. Also helps preserve the colour and flavour. I often add some lime juice for a boost of bright freshness.
How to Make the Best Peach Salsa
Scroll down to the recipe card for full method and quantities.
1. Blanch peaches by placing them in a large pot of boiling water for 30 seconds. Quickly remove them with tongs or a slotted spoon and plunge them into an ice bath (a large bowl filled with ice water).
You should then be able to rub the skins off the peaches without using a peeler or knife. Then remove the pits and chop the peach flesh into small pieces.
2. Score the ends of each tomato crosswise. Blanch by placing them in a large pot of boiling water for 30 seconds. Quickly remove them with tongs or a slotted spoon and plunge them into an ice bath (a large bowl filled with ice water).
You’ll then be able to peel the tomatoes easily with a knife and chop into small pieces.
3. Peel the onion and chop it, along with the sweet red and jalapeño peppers, into small pieces. Remember to wear gloves when chopping fresh jalapeño peppers!
Hot peppers (especially the seeds) contain capsaicin which is a compound that can cause your skin to feel as though it’s burning.
4. Chop the cilantro finely, reserve some for garnish and combine the remainder in a large pot along with the chopped vegetables.
5. Add vinegar, honey and spices to the cooking pot and stir to combine.
6. Cook, uncovered for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring often.
7. If mixture is too thin, continue boiling for another 4-5 minutes or until enough liquid has evaporated and the mixture thickens but isn’t mushy.
7. Garnish with reserved cilantro and serve immediately.
How to Serve and Store This Salsa
- With its hot peppers and spice, serve this Mexican-style peach salsa with tortilla chips or as a topping for tacos and fajitas.
- If you’re barbecuing, this salsa is delicious served with Grilled Halibut, Grilled Red Snapper, Grilled Rosemary Shrimp and Grilled Peach and Chicken Kebabs.
- It will keep in the fridge (covered) in a glass or non-metal container for up to seven days.
Tips & Variations
- For the best Peach Jalapeño Salsa, be sure to use fully ripe fruit. Select fruit that is firm and fragrant. The blush colour of a peach indicates the variety of peach not its ripeness.
- Peaches will continue to ripen once picked so if your produce is hard as a rock, you can speed up the ripening process by placing the fruit in a fruit ripening bowl or inside a loosely closed brown paper bag on your counter. Refrigerate peaches only after they are ripe.
- Try not to chip the fruit too finely so you can have a texture like a peach jalapeño chutney rather than a sauce.
- Substitute chopped fresh mango for half the peaches for a copycat Costco Mango Salsa.
- If you have extra fresh peaches, enjoy them in this Sparkling Bourbon Peach Punch. Or freeze them according to this method for up to one year.
- For a Southwest salsa variation, add one cup of charred corn kernels.
Peach Jalapeño Salsa
- large pot
- 4 large peaches
- 4 large tomatoes
- 1/2 cup red onions finely chopped
- 2 jalapeño peppers seeds removed and finely chopped
- 1/2 large sweet red pepper seeds removed and finely chopped
- 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp ground chipotle pepper more for more heat
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 2 Tablespoons white vinegar
- Blanch peaches by placing them in a large pot of boiling water for 30 seconds. Quickly remove them with tongs or a slotted spoon and plunge them into an ice bath (a large bowl filled with ice water). You'll then be able to slip the skin off the peaches without using a peeler or knife. Then remove the pits and chop into small pieces.
- Score the ends of each tomato crosswise. Blanch by placing them in a large pot of boiling water for 30 seconds. Quickly remove them with tongs or a slotted spoon and plunge them into an ice bath (a large bowl filled with ice water). You'll then be able to peel the tomatoes easily with a knife. Then chop into small pieces.
- Peel the onion and chop all the vegetables into small pieces. Wear gloves when chopping the hot peppers. Chop the cilantro finely, reserving some for the garnish.
- Combine all ingredients in a large cooking pot, add vinegar, honey and spices. Stir. Bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring often. The salsa should be firm not mushy.
- If mixture is too thick add water by the tablespoon until right consistency is reached. If too thin, continue boiling for another 5 minutes or until enough liquid has evaporated and the mixture thickens.
- Allow to cool to room temperature, sprinkle with fresh cilantro and serve.
- For the best salsa, be sure to use fully ripe fruit. It should be firm and fragrant. The blush colour of a peach indicates the variety of peach not its ripeness.
- Peaches will continue to ripen once picked. So if your produce is hard as a rock, you can speed up the ripening process by placing the fruit in a fruit ripening bowl or inside a loosely closed brown paper bag on your counter. Refrigerate peaches only after they are ripe.
- Try not to chop the fruit too finely. You're aiming for a texture like a chutney rather than a sauce.
- Always wear gloves when chopping raw hot peppers like jalapeño! Hot peppers contain capsaicin which can cause your skin to feel as though it's burning.
Other Fresh Salsas You’ll Love
- Mango and Black Bean Salsa
- Freezer Tomatillo and Tomato Salsa
- Salsa Verde by The Mexykan Puerto Escondido
- Chirmol – Guatemalan Charred Tomato Salsa
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Dividing her time between Canada, Guatemala and Mexico (or the nearest tropical beach), Michele Peterson is the founder of A Taste for Travel. Her award-winning travel and food writing has appeared in Lonely Planet’s cookbook Mexico: From the Source, National Geographic Traveler, Fodor’s and 100+ other publications.
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