Salsa with sizzle

Chop, chop! Fresh and sharp, part sauce part salad, our relishes add zip to summer plates…

Recipes by Annie Bell. Follow Annie Bell on Twitter @annibellcook and check out Annie’ s books, including Gorgeous Cakes, Baking Bible, Low Carb Revolution and How To Cook, at

Food: salsa with sizzle

Yellow tomato, artichoke & caramelised onion salsa




4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 red onions peeled halved and finely chopped

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

200g yellow or orange cherry tomatoes or a mixture

75g artichoke hearts in oil

squeeze of lemon juice

sea salt

large handful of coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley



1 Heat half the olive oil in a large nonstick frying pan over a medium-low heat and fry the onion for 25-35 minutes until syrupy, golden and caramelised, stirring occasionally. Add the vinegar and continue to fry until it evaporates. Transfer the onions to a bowl and leave to cool.

2 Quarter the tomatoes and cut the artichokes into 1cm-2cm dice. Combine the tomatoes and artichokes in a bowl and fold in the onions. Add the remaining oil and a squeeze of lemon and season with salt, then fold in the parsley. This can be made up to a couple of hours in advance, in which case add the parsley just before serving.

sizzling serves This is especially good with griddled or barbecued steak or burgers, or with roast beef. Alternatively, for a light veggie lunch or supper, spoon the salsa over some grilled broccoli or cooked green beans, or alongside some sliced avocado.

Food: salsa with sizzle

Melon, lime & coriander salsa




1 tbsp lime juice sea salt

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp finely chopped red onion

1 tbsp finely sliced medium-hot red chilli

200g melon flesh cut into 1cm dice (we used canteloupe)

large handful of finely chopped coriander



1 Whisk the lime juice with a little salt in a medium bowl, then stir in the olive oil and add the onion and chilli. You can prepare the salsa to this point well in advance, in which case cover and set aside.

2 Just before serving, stir in the melon and coriander.

sizzling serves Sweet and sharp with a hint of chilli, this goes particularly well with fish. Try crispy pan-fried salmon or griddled or barbecued prawns


Food: salsa with sizzle


Papaya, cinnamon & cashew salsa




1 papaya skinned halved and deseeded, see method

50g unroasted cashews coarsely chopped

2 spring onions trimmed and finely sliced

2 tbsp avocado oil

2 tsp pomegranate molasses

⅓ tsp ground cinnamon

2 tbsp finely chopped mint

sea salt

squeeze of lemon juice



1 The papaya should be on the under-ripe side so the flesh is firm and just slightly sweet. Cut the papaya flesh into 1cm dice or into shavings using a vegetable peeler if you prefer. Combine the cashews and onions in a medium serving bowl and dress with the oil and pomegranate molasses. Stir in the cinnamon and mint, and season with salt and a squeeze of lemon juice. Very gently stir in the papaya. The salsa can be made a couple of hours in advance, in which case cover and chill.

sizzling serves Smoky, spicy hints of the Eastern Mediterranean make this the perfect accompaniment to barbecued or roasted lamb, or thickly sliced and seared pork fillet.

Food: salsa with sizzle

Cucumber, dill & mustard salsa




1 cucumber sea salt

50ml water

50ml cider vinegar

50g golden caster sugar

3 tbsp good olive oil

2 tsp grainy mustard

2 tbsp finely chopped shallots

2 tbsp small capers rinsed

2 tbsp thinly sliced pickled chillies (for example Fragata brand)

2 tbsp finely chopped dill

2 tbsp snipped chives



1 Halve the cucumber lengthways, discarding the ends. Cut into strips about 1cm wide then into ribbons or chunky slices (use a sharp knife, mandoline or peeler as you prefer). Season the cucumber with salt in a large bowl and set aside for 30 minutes before rinsing in a colander and returning to a large, clean bowl. Bring the water, vinegar and sugar to the boil in a small saucepan, pour it over the cucumber and leave to cool, drain in a sieve and dry on a double thickness of kitchen paper.

2 Combine all the remaining ingredients in a medium serving bowl, then stir in the prepared cucumber. Cover and chill until required. It will keep well for at least half a day.

sizzling serves This lively salsa is a treat served with fishcakes, spicy sausages or frankfurters, slices of roast ham or a chunky terrine. Also try it with a platter of seafood or smoked salmon

Can-do classic

A quick, flavoursome marinade. Into the frying pan or on to the griddle. It’s a wrap!

Food: salsa with sizzle

Full-on chicken fajitas with all the trimmings



SPICY CHICKEN In a large bowl combine 3 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon lime juice with 1 rounded teaspoon each paprika, ground coriander and ground cumin. Halve 600g chicken fillets into escalopes, slice across into thin strips, add to the bowl, stir to coat and set aside for the flavours to mingle.

CHILLI SALSA Quarter 200g cherry tomatoes, season with a little salt and mix in a bowl with 1 teaspoon finely chopped medium-hot red chilli. Dress with a tablespoon of olive oil and a squeeze of lime juice and set aside.

GUACAMOLE Whiz the flesh of 2 avocados to a purée in the bowl of a food processor. Add a tablespoon olive oil, 2 tablespoons lime juice, a dash Tabasco, 1 peeled and crushed garlic clove and some salt and whiz again. Transfer to a small bowl, scatter over 2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander and 1 finely chopped spring onion. Turn a couple of times to roughly combine and set aside.

STICKY SHALLOTS Peel and halve 6 banana shallots and thinly slice. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick frying pan over a medium-low heat and fry the shallots for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently, until golden, then transfer to a large serving bowl.

TO FINISH AND SERVE Turn the heat up to medium-high. Fry the chicken strips in batches for about 3 minutes, or until cooked through and done to your liking, turning occasionally. (Alternatively, cook on the grill.) Combine with the sticky shallots and season to taste. Serve the elements in separate bowls with sour cream on the side and warmed tortillas for everyone to assemble as they wish.

Recipes Annie Bell

Photographs Chris Alack

Food Styling Clare Lewis

Styling Sue Radcliffe