I’m not usually a salsa person. It’s not that I have anything against a delicious combination of tomatoes, onions, and other goodies, it’s just that they’re often not that… delicious. Store bought salsas are often runny, heavy with the vinegar, and straight-up boring. But this salsa… no. This salsa was a delicious revelation.

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Craig and I were out camping in British Columbia, and just before we got to our delightful corner of wilderness, we drove past a little white house with “HONEY” written on a big sign on the porch, and I insisted we stop in. It turned out to be a brilliant idea. That beautiful little house was loaded with some of the most fantastic honey I’ve ever had—thick and delicious, like candy (pardon me while I go get a spoonful of it right now…). They also had a great little corner full of honey products—mostly sauces, salsas, and jams. A tall jar of chunky corn, black bean, and honey salsa caught our eye, and we left with a jar (along with my new collection of honey, of course).

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We cracked the jar of salsa as soon as the tent was pitched. It was divine on those tasty rice chips, and then we used it as pasta sauce as well, and it was divine all over again. When we were in the area again, we grabbed two more jars. I wish we’d grabbed a dozen, but it’s a 4+ hour drive away through the mountains, and hindsight is 20/20. So, I decided to make my own instead.

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The resulting salsa is delicious—it’s sweet, smokey, chunky, and interesting. With sweet niblets of corn, tender bits of tomato, and flavourful hits of celery, onion, and garlic. The smokiness comes from delicious smoked sea salt, chipotle peppers, and smoked grapeseed oil. And, in keeping with the original, I’ve used the Alpine Light Gold Honey from Beeland to add a hit of sweetness. Yum.

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Smokey Corn, Black Bean, & Honey Salsa

½ white onion, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
3–4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp smoked grapeseed oil (or olive oil)

2 fresh tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 cup roasted tomatoes
½ can black beans, drained & rinsed

2 corn cobs, shucked

2 tbsp honey
1+ chipotle peppers, minced

1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp smoked sea salt

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar or lime juice

Heat the smoked grapeseed oil in a frying pan over medium heat and cook the onions and celery for 3–5 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and cook everything through. You should not be browning anything, just softening it up and mellowing out the flavours.

Empty the cooked onion mixture into a large glass bowl and add the tomatoes and black beans. Stir to combine.

Bring a sauce pot of water to a boil and simmer the shucked corn for 3 minutes before straining and rinsing with cold water. Drain the corn and mix it in with everything else.

Stir in the honey and chipotle peppers. I used one pepper and it’s pretty mild.

Stir in the spices and salt to taste. Finish off with the olive oil and some white balsamic vinegar or lime juice. Taste and adjust seasonings, and enjoy!

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