Monday, August 3, 2009

Viva La Salsa!

One thing I love about summer is farmers markets. One thing I love about farmers markets is freshness. On thing I love about freshness is...
You know, it's really so simple to make, yet so many people are truly amazed at how incredible fresh salsa tastes. And what's great is you can alter it in so many ways. You could make it spicy, nose-dripping hot (sorry), or much milder. You could use fruits such as watermelon, papaya, mango or peach. You could use no tomatoes whatsoever and make a salsa verde of sorts. Tomatillos or not. Onions or not. Super garlicky or not. Truly an improvisationalist's dream in cooking!

Here's my basic recipe - but you have to promise me you'll play with it to come up with new versions (then share them here!).

Viva La Salsa!

Makes approximately 4 cups

6 plum tomatoes, quartered
6 tomatillos, de-husked and quartered
2 cloves garlic
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/4 Cup apple cider vinegar
Salt to taste

hot pepper - do what tastes right to you: I use 1/2 small jalapeno pepper (no seeds) and it is pretty spicy. If you want the pepper taste but not the spice, try a lesser hot pepper, such as an Italian (or others). Always use caution opening and cleaning hot peppers as the oil becomes airborne and is quite easy to inhale. It also gets on your fingers (some folks use gloves) and can irritate your skin, or get into your eyes if you rub them. Wash your hands immediately after finishing with the pepper part of this recipe.

Put everything in the food processor. I typically do the tomatoes first, pulsing to get them just chopped but not too juicy. I do the same for the tomatillos. After pulsing, I put each of these ingredients into a medium sized bowl. Then comes the rest of the ingredients, including the pepper, if using. This time, you can let the processor run a bit longer, because this part can be more juicy. Put everything in the bowl and mix. Salt to taste. Add more vinegar/lemon if it needs more bitter, pungent flavors. In fact you could adjust any part of the recipe at this point to make it taste more to your liking.

Just don't expect it to stick around too long!

1 comment:

goldenbird said...

Yum, I love salsa. That looks like a great recipe. I used to make it myself, but over the years I've gotten lazy and just buy it in the plastic tub at the grocery store. I'll have to try your recipe next time. I never thought to put garlic in it-- that sounds good.