Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Worth the Wait
Each spring, when I optimistically plant tomatoes into faux ceramic pots on my shady patio, I picture the ripe fruits chopped up for a salsa. If you have never tried fresh salsa, let me assure you that the taste is so far and beyond anything you can find jarred on the shelf that it well worth a little extra effort.
With my salsa in mind, I plant cilantro in a window box attached to the green railing around our cellar hole, though each year it grows too rapidly and droops well past the bolting stage by the time one tomato ripens. No worries. It’s worth the mouthful of flavor I get when I pluck a leaf and give it a chew, and a few chopped blossoms tossed into to a marinade for pork or fish always add to the party. This May, I went all out and planted jalapenos beside the tomatoes in the pots. As expected at this point, the cilantro looks like yellow straw hanging down from the window box but the tomatoes and jalapenos grew right up together. A quick trip to the grocery store for some fresh cilantro yesterday and we were good to go.
Fresh Tomato Salsa with Homemade Lime Tortilla Chips
No additives, no preservatives. Just yum.
Pick all the ripe cherry tomatoes you can find off the vine (2 cups)*
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 Tbsp red onion minced
1 clove garlic minced
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
*Alternatively, use three or four medium (fist sized) tomatoes of your choice, seeded and chopped.
Using a serrated knife cut the tomatoes in half or in quarters depending on size. Mix with the six following ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste. For extra spicy salsa, leave the seeds in the pepper. This recipe makes a pretty soupy salsa. For a drier salsa, let it sit for about a half an hour at room temperature for the flavors to meld, then pour salsa into strainer to release the juice before returning to your serving dish. Hmmm, I never thought of this before. Next time I might preserve the liquid and mix it with olive oil for a Mexican salad dressing.
Three small (8 inch) whole wheat tortillas
Cooking spray (or olive oil)
2 Tbsp lime juice
Preheat oven to 425.
Cut each tortilla into eight wedges and place on cookie sheet. Spray each wedge lightly with cooking spray (or sprinkle with olive oil). Brush lime juice onto each wedge and sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake in the center of the oven for five minutes watching closely until the edges start to brown and chips are crispy. Serve with salsa.