Grilled Salsa Salad

Melissa's Grilled Salsa Saladby Chef Tom Fraker
Melissa’s World Variety Produce

Sweet and savory, this delicious salad is perfect for those summer months when the grill is always fired up.

6 large Roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise and seeded

limes, halved
garlic cloves, peeled
2 large avocados, halved lengthwise and pitted
1 large mango, halved lengthwise and seeded (do not peel)
sweet onion, thickly sliced
Extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
15 dried tepin chile peppers, ground
Salt
1 head butter lettuce

Melissa's Great Pepper CookbookPreheat grill to medium heat. Brush tomato and next 5 ingredients (through onion) with oil. Place fruits and vegetables on grill rack; grill, rotating halfway through grilling to achieve even grill marks, about 3 to 5 minutes. Set limes aside.

Peel and finely dice remaining grilled fruits and vegetables. In a bowl, combine fruits and vegetables, cilantro , and chile; toss together. Squeeze in lime juice; sprinkle with salt to taste. Serve with butter lettuce leaves.

Recipe from The Great Pepper Cookbook

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Pumpkin Risotto

by Chef Elizabeth Whitt

Serves 8

1 onion, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil, divided
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 cups Arborio rice
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup white wine
5-6 cups chicken broth
1 small baking pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1-2 inch pieces
1/2 cup grated parmesan or pecorino
1/4 cup cream (optional)

Heat broth in a sauce pan.  Bring to a boil, add pumpkin or butternut squash and a few pinches of salt, turn off heat and let sit until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Remove squash with a slotted spoon and set aside until rice is done. Heat a 4-to-5-quart saucepan over medium heat and add onion and 1 tbsp. butter and 1 tbsp. vegetable oil, salt and pepper. Cook until onion is tender, about 5 minutes.  When onion is tender, add the rice and cook stirring frequently for about 1 minute, to coat the grains of rice. Add the wine and begin adding broth 1-2 cups at a time and continue to stir often. Your liquid should be at a constant simmer so adjust your stirring or your heat to achieve tiny bubbles. Once the rice has absorbed most of the liquid add more.  Begin tasting the risotto after you have added half of the broth. When it is cooked it should be tender but not mushy. Continue adding broth until it has reached correct consistency, about 20 minutes.  Add cheese, cream and 1 tbsp. butter and stir until combined.  Fold in squash, check for seasoning and serve.

Oven Baked Method: Heat a large oven safe skillet or Dutch oven over high heat. Add oil, onion, salt and pepper and sauté until just tender, about 5 minutes. Add rice, more salt, white wine, cubed but uncooked butternut squash and 4 cups chicken broth and stir until combined. Bring broth to a boil, cover and bake in oven at 400 until rice is done, about 15-25 minutes. Check cooking after 15 minutes and add more broth if needed. When rice is just or almost done, add in cheese, butter and cream if desired and let rest 10 minutes and serve.