Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Fresh Salsa

It hasn't been that long ago that I didn't like tomatoes. Really, I just didn't like them.

I don't know why. Maybe they were too squishy. I'd pick them out of green salads and pasta salads. I'd give them to my husband. But then one day I decided to give them another try. I'm so glad I did. Although I still don't care for sliced tomatoes on sandwiches. What's up with that?

This is my favorite way to enjoy tomatoes. They taste so....fresh. I can't wait to plant some this spring and enjoy homegrown tomatoes. Cause they're the best!

But for this, I had to settle for store bought tomatoes. They'll do for now.

Here's what I use:

4 or 5 Roma tomatoes
1/2 of a green pepper
2-3 green onions (scallions)
1 TBSP lime juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
garlic powder and salt, to taste

I start with the tomatoes. I slice off the core end and stand them up. Then I slice down lengthwise.

Then I rotate the tomato and slice down again to quarter it.

This makes it easy to scoop out the seeds. I don't like the seeds.

I do this to all the tomatoes until I have a nice pile of seedless tomato quarters. Now it's time to dice them.

Let me stop right here and say that when I first started making fresh salsa, I had a Vidalia Chop Wizard. I used the smaller dice blade and liked how it made the tomatoes a uniform size. But I did have to cut the tomatoes up as I've done in the above pictures, so it wasn't a huge time saver. Then I dropped it and the plastic container broke right where the lid snaps on. It became useless and I never got around to replacing it.

I started dicing tomatoes the old fashioned way (i.e. with my own knife) and came to enjoy doing it. I don't know why, but it's slightly therapeutic to dice those tomatoes. I'm not sure what that says about my psyche.

I start by making long narrow slices lengthwise. If they're not uniform, oh well.

Then I slice across the other direction and voila! Diced tomatoes!

Now I dice the pepper the same way as the tomatoes. Narrow slices lengthwise, then across the other way.

Thinly slice the green onions.

Combine all the veggies in a bowl. Sprinkle with lime juice and garlic and salt. You don't have to go heavy on the salt because usually you're eating chips with salsa and the chips are salted. Of course, if you just eat this with a spoon like I sometimes do, you might need a little more salt!

Now add your cilantro. I hate to chop cilantro. It sticks to the knife, my hands, everything. In a pinch I use this product that I found at Winn Dixie. It's pricey but tastes just like fresh-chopped cilantro. And a little goes a long way. I only use about a tablespoon of this. Plus, it keeps in the fridge much longer than the fresh stuff.

If you can't find it or don't want to pay the price, use the chopped cilantro. But whatever you do, you must use cilantro in some form.

Stir all of this together until well-blended. Allow to sit in the fridge overnight so the flavors can marry. Isn't that a funny way to say "blend well"? "Do you, tomatoes, take the peppers...." Ha! ha!

Doesn't that look yummy! It's so fresh-tasting, too. It will get a little watery as it sits, but that's okay. You can drain this in a mesh colander to get rid of the juices or just give it a good stir.

I know, I know. This salsa doesn't have any spicy peppers in it. That's how I like it! I'm a wimp when it comes to heat. I'm hoping to plant some of these peppers in the spring so I can have the jalapeno taste without the spiciness.

The beauty of homemade salsa is that you can use whatever ingredients you like. You can add black beans to this with wonderful results. If you don't have green onions, dice a white onion instead. Or a red onion. Toss in a jalapeno if you can't live without it in your salsa. Experiment until you come up with your favorite combination.

For more tasty recipes, visit Life As Mom's Ultimate Recipe Swap. This week's theme is Super Bowl recipes. You're sure to find something easy to make for the big game!

1 comment:

  1. I have never seen that cilantro before. How wonderful!!! Your salsa looks delicious. Thanks for a great post and new ideas. ~