Got tomatoes?


Stu Spivack, Wikimedia Commons

Chips are a great accompaniment for your favorite homemade tomato salsa.

The reason I chose salsa as a subject this week is because my daughter-in-law and son came to visit and shared their homemade tomato salsa. It was my favorite food during the four days of their visit, even though my son grills fantastic ribs.

I asked for their salsa recipe but they did not use one, so I was somewhat disappointed about that. I say somewhat, because there is no shortage of good salsa recipes in cookbooks and food blogs. The following ones I dug up (not literally) from my own files that I have saved for years.

I like tomato salsa served with tortilla chips, but of course you can serve them however you prefer. Chips and salsa will disappear quickly if you decide to serve them at your Independence Day celebration.

Take care out there when you gather with others, as we face more of this COVID-19 business.

Fresh tomato salsa

1 pound tomatoes (about 2 large tomatoes), seeded and finely diced (about 2 cups)

1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion

1 yellow or orange bell pepper, diced

1 jalapeno, Serrano or Anaheim chili, finely chopped (seeds are optional)

1 whole lime, freshly squeezed

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Season to taste with additional salt, lime juice and chilies.

2. The addition of chopped green onions adds color and extra flavor, as well as a little bit of olive oil.

Homemade tomato salsa

1 1/4 pounds ripe Roma tomatoes (about 5 or 6)

1 can (14.5-oz.) petite diced tomatoes

2 green onions, ends trimmed, chopped into thirds

1/3 cup chopped red onion (about 1/4 of a medium)

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and roughly chopped

1/3 cup fresh cilantro (about a handful)

1 large clove garlic, roughly chopped

2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar (optional)

Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse in 1 second bursts until all ingredients are finely chopped.

2. Serve with tortilla chips. Store in refrigerator up to 1 week.

Roasted tomato salsa

1 pound tomatoes (3 to 4 medium)

1 jalapeno pepper

1 serrano pepper

2 unpeeled garlic cloves

1 small onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)

1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves and tender stems

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or more to taste

Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

1. Heat the broiler with a rack about 4 inches below heat source. Place tomatoes, jalapeno, serrano pepper, and garlic into a baking dish. Broil, turning occasionally, until they are charred in spots, about 8 minutes. Let tomatoes, peppers, and garlic cool.

2. When the tomatoes, peppers, and garlic are cool enough to handle, peel most of the skins from the tomatoes and remove the cores. Peel most of the skins from the peppers and remove the seeds. For a spicier salsa, leave in some or all of the seeds. Remove the softened garlic from peel.

3. Add roasted tomatoes, peppers, garlic, onion, cilantro, lime juice, and a pinch of salt to a food processor or blender. Pulse 3 to 4 times or until the salsa is mostly smooth and no big chunks of tomato remain, scraping down the sides as necessary. Adjust with more lime juice, salt or pepper based on consistency and taste. Cool to room temperature then refrigerate about 1 hour for flavors to develop.

Green tomato salsa

1 pound green tomatoes

2 to 3 jalapeno or serrano peppers (more or less, to taste)

Salt, to taste

1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro

1/4 to 1/2 cup water, as needed (optional)

1. Preheat broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place green tomatoes on baking sheet, stem-side down, and place under the broiler about 2 inches from the heat. Broil two to five minutes, until charred. Using tongs, turn the tomatoes over, and broil on the other side for two to five minutes, until blackened. Remove from heat. When cool enough to handle, core tomatoes and remove charred skin. Quarter and place in a blender or a food processor fitted with a steel blade.

2. Add remaining ingredients, except the water, to the blender or food processor, and blend to a coarse or a smooth puree (to your taste). Transfer to a bowl, taste and adjust seasonings, and thin out with water if desired. Allow to stand for 30 minutes or longer before serving to allow the flavors to develop. You may wish to thin out after it stands. Makes about 1 3/4 cups.

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