Salsa Fresca

During a summer BBQ a few years ago, the unthinkable happened- the salsa ran out! Thankfully, one of our friends from Mexico City whipped up her home-style salsa, saving the day. This recipe will put any jarred salsa to shame, it is unbelievably fresh and clean, managing to cool you down but leave your mouth tingling. We eagerly followed our guest to the kitchen as she happily shared her family recipe, which has now been adopted as the salsa of choice in our refrigerator.

This past summer, we planted a jalapeno plant along with our tomatoes. As a gardener, Karen is not known for her green thumb, but for some reason this jalapeno plant was a true fighter, supplying us with more than we could use.

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We FINALLY got around to using up the last of our jalepeno bounty and whipped up a batch of this salsa to add a kick of freshness into the post-holiday blues.

We’ve estimated amounts here – the recipe is foolproof and open to variation!

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Ingredients

(makes approximately 4 cups)

4-6 roma tomatoes (try to choose ones equal in size), cored left whole

1 jalapeno (optional, cored and deseeded, or left whole- depending on how spicy you like it)

1/4 – 1/3 cup white onion, chopped

1/3 cup cilantro, chopped

Salt to taste

lime zest to taste (optional)

Use enough tomatoes to fit side-by-side in a small saucepan, stand upright.

Core and scoop out the seeds from the jalapeno if using.  The seeds add heat so vary according to personal taste! Add to saucepan with tomatoes.

Add ¼ cup of water to pan, cover and cook over medium heat for about 7 minutes, until tomatoes begin to soften and peel splits but still maintaining their shape. Be sure all of the water does not evaporate and add more if needed.  Essentially, you are doing a quick steam on them.

Meanwhile, chop onion and cilantro and reserve.

Remove the tomatoes and jalapeno and place into a blender. Blend on medium setting to desired consistency, skin and all.  We like ours to be chunky. The salsa will thicken further after refrigerating.  In a medium bowl, stir into the puree the chopped onion and cilantro.  Salt to taste.

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