We do eat a lot of ketchup. I try to feel less guilty, lugging double-packed vats out of Costco, by telling myself that at least school cafeterias call it a vegetable, but I know there is quite a distance between farm and table on this one. So I am happy, this time of year, as our obsession with tomato-based condiments takes a fresh direction: Homemade (Straight-from-the-Market) Salsa.
It’s true. As much as they like ketchup, and as much (honestly) as some of them could give or take tomatoes, my kids LOVE fresh salsa. Some of you might call it pico de gallo or salsa fresca, because nothing in our homemade salsa recipe is cooked, but whatever you call it, the vegetables get to show off their colors and flavors in a big, beautiful way. While it’s true that salsa is great with tortilla chips (and we still buy those in big bags at Costco), it’s also great on anything Mexican, on hotdogs, or spooned over fish or chicken. We’ve even dunked grilled cheese in the juice at the bottom of the bowl. Straight from the fields and… So. Good.
Garden fresh tomatoes make a difference here. We never make salsa until they ripen, but then make it almost continuously until October, bringing it to every picnic and BBQ we are invited to. (I bet, even if we weren’t invited, showing up at the door with a bowl of this stuff might gain us entrance.)
Anyway, here’s how to do it. Almost everything in this recipe (save the citrus, cilantro, and garlic salt) can be found at our Home Market. As always, you should feel free to add more of what you like—garlic, if you like it garlicky; jalapeños (or ribs/seeds), if you like it spicy; lime juice, if you prefer that citrus flavor. I always add extra cilantro because we enjoy the taste and it comes in big bunches that need to be used up. Whatever you do, you really can’t mess this salsa up—and it is way more fresh, healthy, and farm-to-table than that other red condiment!
Chop, Combine, and Chill for few hours:
1 Green Pepper, seeded
½ – 1 Jalapeño, ribs and seeds removed
6 sprigs Cilantro
2 cloves Garlic, minced
Juice of 1 Lemon
1 tsp. Garlic Salt
There was a time when we sold this at our market. While we don’t offer it ready-made anymore, you can easily make it yourself. Come see us at The Red Wagon and tell us that you’re giving our salsa a try. It’s worth the trip!