For a Summer Fare
If you're looking for a versatile condiment that's perfect for summer fare, consider salsa. I know many of you think of salsa as something to serve with tortilla chips or a Mexican dish, but there are a lot of interesting ways to use it.
Salsa is the Spanish and Mexican word for sauce, but in America we think of it as a chunky tomato condiment that can be mild or really spicy.
If your only experience with salsa is the stuff you buy in a jar, you owe it to yourself to prepare a delicious batch using the freshest seasonal ingredients you can get your hands on and try it in some new and creative ways.
In our house, we call my salsa, "Honus's" Salsa, a nickname given to me by one of my wife's friends. Now it doesn't matter what type of salsa I make, they are all Honus's.
Although most often made with tomatoes, salsa can be prepared with various fruits and vegetables depending on what you are going to serve it with. I've prepared different variations of salsas made with papaya, pineapple, and mango that go great with grilled fish, chicken, pork, or shrimp.
Or how about a combination of tomato and fruit like orange, tomato and red onion salsa. In one of my favorite New York Italian restaurants, they served a grilled veal chop with traditional salsa piquant.
And if you're hungry and in a hurry, a simple fresh tomato salsa on top of a baked potato is delicious.
There are endless recipes you can come up with and depending on your own taste buds, you can make it as spicy or mild as you like. Just be careful not to touch your eyes after handling hot peppers. You think they're hot in your mouth?
Goes Great With Fish, Chicken or Pork
This salsa goes great with any firm white fish like swordfish or sea bass but be careful not to overpower the wonderful taste of fresh fish. I have used this salsa on grilled chicken breasts and roasted loin of pork. It is especially good with leftovers to create a different dish the next night.
Give this recipe a try or create your own and serve it with something other than chips. You'll find the leftovers are better the next day after a night of marinating and will make a great omelet the next morning.
When I prepare this recipe, I usually make a large amount at one time and dine on it all week. If you just want to make enough for one meal, reduce the amounts proportionately.
Don't Make This Salsa Unless You Can Get Your Hands On Ripe, Tasty Tomatoes & Seasonal Vegetables
Please don't attemp this recipe unless you are using fresh, seasonal tomatoes that taste like tomatoes. Unfortunately, the season for fresh tomatoes in most places is short.
I have tasted local hot house tomatoes that are excellent and would work fine but most tomatoes you buy at the market shipped in from who knows where don't have any taste at all. They might work in a tomato sauce, but not when eating them raw.
The Zen of Salsa Making
Fresh Tomato Salsa
- 6 - 8 large fresh flavorful tomatoes about 6 cups
- 2 scallions finely minced
- 1 cup FRESH cilantro chopped, no stems
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ cup FRESH oregano minced
- 2 tablespoons Jalapeno pepper minced (more if your taste buds can handle it)
- 1 red pepper chopped
- 2 yellow peppers chopped
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons FRESH lime juice
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Chop up the tomatoes and mince the scallions. If you can't find scallions, you can substitute fresh onion.
- Mince the garlic and chop up the oregano.
- Split the pepper in half and clean out the seeds and membrane and then chop into small pieces.
- Mince the jalapeno and be careful. You'll want to wash your hands after handling it so not to take a chance of rubbing any in your eyes.
- Once all the ingredients are prepped, add them to a large bowl and stir gently until well combined.
- Cover, and refrigerate for at least one hour.
Any hardy white fish
Grilled chicken breasts
Tacos, burritos, or as a side dish for any Mexican dish
Grilled Hanger Steak