Late summer perfect for making salsa



We New Englanders love our salsa, and in the last six years, salsa has overtaken ketchup to become the number one condiment we slather on our food.

The mass-produced salsa may be tasty, but with the tomato season in full swing, nothing beats the freshness of a colorful and wholesome salsa you can make at home.

Salsa is the Spanish word for sauce, and “salsa cruda,” an uncooked sauce, is the kind of salsa I like to prepare when my garden is at its peak. I often don’t use a recipe, as almost anything can go into the sauce. There are however, some basic components, that when artfully combined, yield an addictive blend of textures, flavors and colors that enliven any snack or meal.

Tomatoes are the key. Ripe and sweet, they form the base of your sauce. Red, yellow, orange, heirloom, cherry, green or purple tomatillos, all forms of the tomato are good.

A member of the allium family, red, yellow or sweet, white onion, adds crispness, flavor and depth. Garlic provides an assertive accent, while the jalapeño pepper adds some heat. Lime juice is a good source of acidity; lemon juice or vinegar will work also. Fresh herbs such as cilantro or mint, plenty of sea salt and fresh pepper complete your masterpiece.

A food processor or blender is a handy tool, but not necessary. For hundreds of years, people have prepared sauces with a mortar and pestle, a good sharp knife and a cutting board.

Fresh salsa keeps in the refrigerator for about a week, but it never lasts that long around our house. We spoon in on burgers, wrap it up in sandwiches, even add it to our eggs. Every batch of summer salsa is different and delicious, the quintessential taste of summer.

Want to enjoy salsa in the winter, but hate to use those out-of-season tomatoes? Canned tomatoes make a tasty salsa. Better when there’s none!

 

Summer Salsa
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This summer salsa recipe courtesy of Cherly Wixson makes about six cups of salsa.
Summer Salsa
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
This summer salsa recipe courtesy of Cherly Wixson makes about six cups of salsa.
Ingredients
  • 4-6 ripe tomatoes, about 4 cups or 1-28 oz. can
  • 1 onion (around 1 cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves (or more to taste)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper (canned peppers will work also, use sparingly at first and taste!)
  • 2 Tbsps. lime juice
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro (may also use mint or oregano)
  • Sea salt and fresh pepper
  • Hot chili flakes, dried oregano (all optional)
Servings:
Units:
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of your food processor, pulse the onion and garlic. Add the ripe tomatoes and pulse again. Add the jalapeño pepper, lime juice and chopped herbs. Taste.
  2. Add seasonings and sea salt to taste and pulse to desired consistency. Serve with chips, or use as a fresh sauce for grilled meats, veggies, rice and other grains.
Recipe Notes

Nutritional analysis per ½ cup: 21 calories, 1 gram protein, 5 grams carbohydrates, less than 1 gram fat, 110 mg. sodium, 1.3 grams fiber.

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Cheryl Wixson
"Maine Dish" columnist Cheryl Wixson lives and cooks in Stonington. Her passion for organic Maine products led to the creation of her business, Cheryl Wixson's Kitchen. She welcomes food-related questions and comments at [email protected] or www.cherylwixsonskitchen.com.

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