Sunday, July 8, 2012

Summer - the season for salsa

It’s summer.  The weather is hot.  And nothing beats fresh tomato salsa, guacamole and a cold beer on days like this.  In my neck of the woods, local tomatoes are only just starting to trickle into the markets.  The following recipe uses a mixture of fresh and canned tomatoes, which not only tastes great, but extends the fresh salsa season and shows how to make a more affordable salsa without sacrificing taste if fresh tomatoes aren’t very affordable where you live.  I’ve actually compared salsa made only with fresh tomatoes and this salsa and the winner was this version.  It seems that the canned tomatoes give a somewhat concentrated tomato flavor which, when combined with the fresh tomatoes, lends a more complex flavor profile. The key for this recipe is that the fresh tomatoes you do use must have TASTE!

Tomato Salsa - the finished product

Tomato Salsa

2-3 cloves garlic, smashed and roughly chopped
2 Jalapeños, seeded and coarsely chopped*
¼ - ½ bunch cilantro, remove any large stems, tear up into approximately 2” long pieces
2 limes, juiced
¼ teaspoon kosher or sea salt, optional
1 medium yellow onion, chopped roughly into 1-2” pieces
2 medium tomatoes (the on-the-vine type work well) or 1 large beefsteak tomato, chopped roughly into 1-2” pieces
1-28 oz can Peeled Plum Tomatoes in Juice, drained of juice


1. Place the garlic, jalapeños, cilantro, salt and lime juice in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.  For mild salsa, don't include any seeds or pith from the jalapeños.  For medium salsa, include seeds and pith from ½ a jalapeño. For hot salsa, include more of the pith and seeds.

2. Add the onion, fresh and canned tomatoes and pulse until chopped to desired consistency.

Makes: 1 quart

Serving: can be served right away, though the flavor is a bit better if allowed to sit for an hour before.

Store: in a covered container in the refrigerator.  Keeps 5 days.

*The accompanying video shows the easiest way to remove the seeds from jalapeños and regulate the heat of the salsa.

Video: how to remove seeds and pith from jalapeños and regulate the heat of the salsa.

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