It can’t properly be a Cinco de Mayo celebration without chips and salsa, can it? And you know who loves a good margarita? This girl. Some of the best times I had in New York were at Mexican restaurants with friends at happy hour on Friday afternoon. Inevitably around 12 or 1 pm on Friday at the office, we would all start talking about where we would go for drinks. It was the one day of the week when, for the most part, we all uniformly strutted out into the refreshing New York City sunshine (or haze) and promptly retired to the nearest bar we could find, which was typically a cheesy Murray Hill bar with 80s music or a Mexican restaurant.
There is something about chips and salsa and margaritas that feels celebratory to me, even if all you are celebrating is the end of a work day or work week. And so a lot of weeks, my lawyer friends and I would end up at a Mexican restaurant, chips and salsa in one hand, and margarita in the other, giddily telling war stories about our crazy weeks. My sister would also be there, and after listening to us, she is probably thankful that she isn’t a lawyer. Even after I moved away from New York, in each city I have lived in, there is always a Mexican restaurant with decent (or not so decent) food and drink, where you can relieve the stress of the week.
The only sad thing about Mexican restaurants is that sometimes the food can leave you feeling a little, well, weighed-down. By pairing a homemade salsa with baked tortilla chips, you can re-create your favorite Mexican restaurant snack at home, knowing it is a little better for you. This salsa is a little twist on a recipe from Canyon Ranch. The slightly sweet cherry tomatoes get a hint of citrus and brightness from the grapefruit and lime. The flavor of the cilantro and the spiciness of the red onion really tie it all together. I used to think that I wasn’t the biggest cilantro fan, but it is not overpowering here. The variations on this are really endless depending on your taste. I also loved using it as a salad-topper ~ so you don’t have to just eat it with your chips.
Speaking of chips, I used this recipe from the Kitchn for my baked tortilla chips and they turned out very well. Because the chips are baked instead of fried, they are significantly less oily and you can control how salty you want them to be. In my oven, they took about 12 minutes to become crispy and slightly browned. In just a few minutes, you can have yourself a Mexican fiesta!
For the Grapefruit and Cherry Tomato Salsa (slightly adapted from Canyon Ranch):
What You’ll Need:
1/2 grapefruit, segmented and diced
1 pint of cherry tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup of red onion, diced
1/4 cup yellow pepper, diced
juice of 1/2 lime
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cane sugar
What You’ll Do:
Mix up all that goodness and let it sit in the refrigerator for a few hours to let the flavors marry before serving!
You may want to serve up one of these delicious sounding and looking beverages alongside this salsa for Cinco de Mayo, from some very talented bloggers that I admire:
Gorgeous Grapefruit Margarita from Apartment 34
Strawberry Rhubarb Margarita from Freutcake
Texas Margarita from Garnish with Lemon
The Best Homemade Margaritas from Averie Cooks
Charred Jalapeño and Cilantro Carrot Margarita from Aida Mollenkamp
Pomegranate Margaritas from How Sweet It Is