Making every bite count

21 June 2008

Such simple salsas

Now that tomato season is here, those luscious red, ripe fruits are no longer verboden chez moi. All winter long, I shun the anemic, mealy supermarket tomatoes and long for the days when you can smell the tomatoes before you actually see them. Salmonella be damned. If you buy organic, local tomatoes, there is no worry. It's salsa time! Dear friend Katie in D.C. loved the mango salsa we made when I visited last fall, and she commented last week in a fluster. She'd forgotten the ingredient list! Guess what? With salsa, there are no rules, no recipes, no "ingredient list." Out mango version was a bit fancy: tomatoes, red peppers, red onion, jalapeno, mango, a bit of salt, pepper and lime juice.

I'm very fond of pico de gallo: tomatoes, white onions, a bit of jalapeno, cilantro or parsley and salt and pepper.
And tonight I made an "Italian salsa": tomatoes, basil, red onion, green garlic, red peppers, a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. So good. (Photo above.)
I could eat sals plain, as a salad. But it also works as a pasta sauce (the heat from the pasta warms the salsa just enough to release the flavor.), a sandwich topping or a dip.
Salsa can be made with any vegetable, any fruit, in any comination. Roast the veggies or leave them raw -- it doesn't matter. Too bland? Add salt, a pinch of sugar or a dash of vinegar or citrus juice.
I love pineapple with cilantro, onion and jalapeno. Or mango with red peppers. Or tomatoes, green peppers, any onion, any fresh herb, and pretty much anything else you have lying around.
Tomatillos are great roasted and added to a salsa.
Add cucumbers. (Try cucumber, cilantro, jalapeno, and onion.)
The list is endless. Mix and match what you like. Experiment. Fool around with some combinations until you find something that works for you. (ooh, I LOVE raspberry-chipotle salsa!)
Fat-free, fresh, raw, perfect.
Every bite counts.


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