The kaleidoscope of tomatoes and peppers now in season offers an almost unlimited color palette for making salsa.

And on the flavor side, the huge range of heirloom and standard tomatoes lets you go from expected to subtle to sweeter, with all kinds of tart or acidic or fruity notes to be found. Peppers range from all fruit and no heat in simple bell peppers to the incendiary habanero, which enflames a salsa called Dog's Nose -- so named, some say, because yours will be wet, too, after a single tiny bite.

(There's an even hotter pepper, the Bhut Jolokia, also known as a "ghost" because that sounds so much better than "this might kill you if you eat it." Use it at your own risk.)

mustard greens in Pretty 'n' Peppery Salsa; and a daring level of fire in the Dog's Nose Salsa, also known by the Mayan words for dog's nose, Xni Pec (SHNEE-pec).

Go ahead and experiment by swapping out tomatoes, peppers or other ingredients to achieve different looks or flavors.

>Pretty 'n' Peppery Salsa

1 yellow tomato, seeded and diced

1 red tomato, seeded and diced

1 green tomato, seeded and diced

1/4 cup finely sliced mustard greens

1/4 cup baby arugula

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Thoroughly combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Yields about 1 3/4 cups. Adapted from "The Great Salsa Book," by Mark Miller (Ten Speed Press, 1994)


>Spicy Peach Salsa

1 1/2 cups peaches cut into small cubes

1/4 medium red onion, cut into small cubes

1/4 yellow, red or orange bell pepper, cut into small cubes

1 jalapeno or other similar-size hot chili, cored, seeded and minced

1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice or rice vinegar

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin or chili powder, optional

Kosher or sea salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Yields 4 to 5 servings. Adapted from "Fine Cooking Fresh" (Taunton Press, 2009)


>Pico de Gallo

1/4 cup coarsely chopped white onion

1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

3 fresh serrano or 2 jalapeno chilies, cored, seeded and coarsely chopped

1 1/2 ripe medium tomatoes, finely chopped

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Put onion, cilantro and chiles in a food processor; pulse until very finely chopped. Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve. Makes about 1 1/2 cups. Adapted from "Fine Cooking Fresh" (Taunton Press, 2009)


Dog's Nose Salsa (Xni Pec)

1 to 4 habanero or Scotch bonnet chilies, stemmed and finely chopped (for slightly milder heat, seed the chilies)

2 medium red tomatoes, cut into 1/4 -inch cubes, with juices

1 medium red onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice or more to taste

1 tablespoon fresh grapefruit juice

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Taste, adding more lime juice if needed. Makes about 2 1/2 cups. Adapted from "Bold & Healthy Flavors," by Steven Raichlen (Black Dog & Leventhal, 2010)