Field Notes

Hot Sauce Field Guide: Grilled Peach Salsa

Not exactly a hot sauce but definitely a close cousin, this salsa should be on your summer barbecue rotation. We sprinkle the peaches with ground chili flakes before grilling to lend a second layer of heat and complexity to brightness of fresh jalapeño.

Yield: 2 cups

  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 fresh jalapeño chili, stem and seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2 peaches, halved, pits removed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves

In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, jalapeño and red onion. Let sit for 10 minutes. Prepare a medium hot grill (or a grill pan over high heat). Rub each peach half with olive oil, then sprinkle with the cayenne. Arrange the peaches on the grill, cut side down, and cook for 2 minutes. Flip the halves and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Transfer the peaches to a cutting board to cool. When they are cool enough to handle, dice into ½-inch cubes. Transfer to a medium bowl with the mint and cilantro. Add the marinated jalapeño and red onion and their juices. Season generously with salt, and serve.

Jalapeño Uses

For chili lovers, jalapeños are a line item on every grocery list. With their middle-of-the-road heat level, durability and accessibility, these green chilies are like the golden retrievers of the hot pepper family.

Here are a few of the ways we like to use up ours.

Rice Salad with Grilled Vegetables

  • 4 pounds assorted summer vegetables, such as:
  • Eggplant, halved
  • Summer Squash, halved
  • Okra
  • Asparagus
  • Spring or Vidalia onions, halved
  • Corn
  • Cabbage, halved
  • Bell peppers

Dressing:

  • 1 jalapeño, stemmed, diced
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 cups cooked jasmine rice
  • 2 cups fresh herbs (such as basil, mint, cilantro, marjoram)

Rub the vegetables with oil and sprinkle with Forager’s Blend Grilling Salts. Prepare a charcoal fire in your grill, and brush the grill grates with oil. Add the vegetables to the grill, turning frequently until cooked, with some caramelization. Transfer to a sheet tray to cool slightly, then roughly dice the eggplant, squash, asparagus, onions and peppers. Cut the kernels from the corn cobs, and thinly slice the cabbage. Transfer to a large bowl.

In a blender, combine the jalapeno, garlic, lime, sugar and fish sauce and puree. Pour over the warm vegetables and add the rice and herbs. Toss to coat.

Fresh Green Jalapeño Chili Pepper

As far as fresh chilies go, jalapeños are among the most recognizable and easy to find. These stalwart pepper are hearty growers, with thick skins that make them suitable for many types of cooking. They can stand up to frying or grilling, and are perfect for pickling (as evidenced by every nacho platter in America).

Sourcing and storing: Fresh jalapeños are available at most grocery stores and Latin markets; they’re also easy to grow in a pot during the summer months. Store them at room temperature for 3 to 5 days.