Salsa, 3 Ways!

salsa

Salty, spicy foods are my chronic craving. So naturally, salsa is one of my favorite things to eat. There are few things I love more than salsa, and even fewer things I love more than salsa that I made, and even fewer things still that I love more than salsa I made with my own homegrown ingredients. But I do have to give credit where credit is due and say that I have had some pretty amazing salsas that I did not make, and I’ve used some pretty awesome ingredients that I did not grow. Still, I like to think that I can at least keep up in the salsa game.

Right now is the perfect time to make salsa, as the tomato and pepper harvest is plentiful. To my great surprise, I was able to grow quite a few decent tomatoes and jalapenos this year, so I have plenty to support my salsa habit. If you don’t, you can always buy fresh from a farmer’s market or grocery store, or use canned. Anything works!

If you’re feeling a little adventurous, as I was a few weeks ago, try my new discovery. Have you ever heard of ground cherries? I hadn’t until I got some in my CSA box a few weeks ago. I had no idea what they were (obviously — see my previous CSA issues), so I asked a coworker. She had just finished researching the answer to my question, and they’re kind of a citrus-y cross between cherry tomatoes and tomatillos because they have the same paper husks.

“People make jams with them,” my coworker told me with a shrug.

Well, I’m not super into jam. But I am into salsa, as you know. So I thought I could switch things up and go for a twist on salsa that’s slightly more sweet than salty or spicy.

If you’re not interested in semisweet salsa, I’ve got you covered with a salsa verde. And if you don’t want green salsa, the pico de gallo is for you!

Ground Cherry Salsa

Ground Cherry Salsa

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 2 cups

Ingredients
  • ½ medium red onion, quartered
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced (or 2, depending on how much heat you like)
  • 1 small tomato, quartered
  • 1 cup ground cherries, papery husks removed
  • ½ lime’s juice
  • Cilantro, to taste, chopped
  • Salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Add the red onion and jalapeno to a food processor. Pulse a few times to get your desired piece size — I prefer very small bits, but nowhere close to pureed.
  2. Add the tomato. Pulse again until it’s all mixed well.
  3. Add ground cherries, lime juice and cilantro, and pulse a few more times until all of the ground cherries have been cut up and mixed in.
  4. Salt and stir.
  5. Let sit for half an hour.
  6. Stir again and serve.

Salsa Verde

Salsa Verde

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 3-4 cups

Ingredients
  • 6 tomatillos, husks removed
  • 1 large white onion, quartered and sort of separated
  • 2 jalapenos, sliced lengthwise (ribs and seeds removed if you don’t want it spicy)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lime’s juice
  • Cilantro, finely chopped, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Place tomatillos, onion, jalapeno and garlic on a baking sheet with a decent lip on it.
  2. Drizzle the olive oil over all of it, making sure all ingredients to be roasted have been lightly coated. Use your hands to spread the love if necessary.
  3. Roast at 350 F for 30 minutes, or until the tomatillos start to split and shrivel, just before the onion parts begin to blacken.
  4. After removing the baking sheet from the oven, carefully place all content into a food processor. Scrape all the oily goodness from the baking sheet into the food processor.
  5. Add the lime juice, cilantro and salt.
  6. Blend until smooth.
  7. Wait to serve until it has cooled.

Simple Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo

Prep time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 3-4 cups

Ingredients
  • 6 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 2 jalapenos, diced (ribs and seeds removed if you don’t want it spicy)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 lime’s juice
  • Cilantro, finely chopped, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Stir it all together by hand. That’s it. You can also blend it if you prefer a smoother texture (or because your food processor is already ready to go after making the other two!).

What’s in your favorite salsa? —Megan

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