Mild winters aside, two of the things I miss most about living in California is having a backyard with a BBQ and getting a jump-start on summer’s first produce. This year I was lucky enough to spend the past month at my parents house in Napa. During that time, I shot photos for two cookbooks, disappeared into the mountains for a weekend, drank some beer, and did a lot of soul-searching.

This fire roasted corn salsa came together effortlessly as a side dish for my Carne Asada one night, and it quickly became a favorite condiment over the next few days. The sweetness of the corn is intensified by fire-roasting it, which also brings out some earthy popcorn-like flavors.

Crispy and mild, this non-traditional salsa goes with everything from chips to tacos. It also makes a great side salad to accompany a meat or fish dish. I even used some the next morning to make a vegetarian breakfast sandwich. I just sauteed the corn salsa with some olive oil before scrambling in some eggs and cheese. This was served in an english muffin with sliced avocados, salt pepper and a squeeze of lime.

I was serving this alongside some spicy food, so I didn’t add any chili peppers, but if you want some heat, just mince some serrano or jalapenos and throw them in.