Salsa a la Valentina

Flowers and strawberries are always a special treat on Valentine’s Day, but what about including them in Salsa a la Valentina as a special gift for your loved one this year.

Salsa a la Valentina is full of romantic flavors from the roasted bell peppers, sweet strawberries, juicy Mexican Pickled Onions, and some spiciness from the ground chipotle. Plus, you can’t have Valentine’s Day without some flowers, so we have that crossed off your list with the addition of hibiscus flowers.

Hibiscus flowers don’t have a sweet flavor by themselves, but by boiling them in hot water with sugar and cinnamon sticks the flowers’ taste increases. After you are done boiling the hibiscus, you can throw away the cinnamon sticks, but DON’T discard the water. Add two cups of water, half a lime, half an orange, and some ice so you can drink it as Jamaica.

A couple glasses of jamaica and a bowl of Salsa a la Valentina would make a great addition to your Valentine’s Day dinner this year.

½ cup hibiscus flowers
2 cinnamon sticks
1 cup sugar
½ cup red onions, sliced
3 limes, juiced
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 red bell peppers, stemmed and roasted
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
6 strawberries, chopped
½ tsp dried Mexican Oregano
¼ tsp chipotle seasoning
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Make your Mexican Pickled Onions first, at least three hours to a day prior to making your salsa. Slice the red onions into small-thin ½ inch slices and place a ½ cup of them in a glass jar. Then, take the juice of the three limes as well as the vinegar and pour into the jar. Let sit for at least three hours or a full day in the fridge. Once the Mexican Pickled Onions are ready, start preparing the rest of your salsa.

To prepare the hibiscus flowers, add sugar, cinnamon sticks, and the flowers to a pot of water. Bring the pot of water to a boil for two minutes. Then remove the pot from the stove, cover it with a lid, and let sit for 20 minutes.

Once the flowers are ready, drain the water (you can still use this water to make jamaica [SEE ABOVE]), and remove the cinnamon sticks. Let the flowers cool for about 10 minutes. Then cut the remaining flowers into small bite size pieces before placing into a bowl.

Next, roast the bell peppers over the stove or in the oven (400 degrees) until the skin is moderately charred for 5-10 minutes. After the bell peppers have finished roasting, remove the stems and cut the peppers into small-thin slices (1/2 inch in length).

Finally, chop the strawberries and cilantro into small bite-sized pieces. Add them as well as the rest of the ingredients into a bowl. Stir with a spoon for 30 seconds until well-combined.

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