If you’re comfortable and efficient with a knife, the flavors of Mexico’s quintessential, eponymous salsa (often called pico de gallo on our side of the border) can be on your table at a moment’s notice. But not everyone is a knife wizard, so I devised this version, which utilizes the food processor for the garlic, green chile, cilantro and half the tomatoes. Meaning, that a very good fresh tomato salsa is within everyone’s easy reach. Green onions are the easiest to cut (they are the only onion my daughter likes to chop), but feel free to use white or red onion if that’s what’s available or appealing. At our restaurants, we only make this salsa when our ripe local tomatoes are in season.
Fresh [url href=”https://www.capelocallygrown.net/product-category/produce/vegetables/peppers/” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”]hot green chiles[/url] to taste (I like 2 serranos or 1 jalapeño), stemmed and halved
1 large green [url href=”https://www.capelocallygrown.net/product-category/produce/vegetables/onions/” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”]onion[/url], roots and wilted outer leaves removed, chopped into small pieces
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (or vinegar)
Drop the garlic and chile pieces one at a time into a running food processor, letting each get finely chopped before adding the next.
Turn off the processor and remove the lid. Cut one tomato in quarters and add it to food processor, along with the cilantro.
Pulse 4 to 6 times until you have a coarse puree.
Scrape the mixture into a bowl.
Cut the other tomato into 1/4-inch pieces and add to the bowl along with the green onion.
Taste and season with lime juice (or vinegar) and salt, usually a generous 1/2 teaspoon.
This salsa is best if eaten within an hour or two, but it will keep for a number of hours in the refrigerator.
Riffs on Salsa Mexicana: Chopped raw tomatillos can replace some of the chopped tomato. Cilantro can be replaced or augmented by pungent herbs like Mexican pipicha, pápalo or hoja santa, or saw-tooth cilantro (aka raurau in Asian markets). Any of the lemony or anisey [url href=”https://www.capelocallygrown.net/product-category/produce/fresh-herbs/” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”]herbs[/url], from lemon verbena and lemon/lime basil to lemon balm and anise hyssop give the salsa a special character. I love the addition of avocado, cucumber and jícama—but not necessarily all at once. The same goes for crisp apple or pear or ripe mango, peach or nectarine.[br][br]Recipe from Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless with Deann Groen Bayless
1/2 cup [url href=”https://www.capelocallygrown.net/product-category/produce/fresh-herbs/” target=”_blank”]cilantro – basil – oregano or other herbs[/url] in season
1/4 cup [url href=”https://www.capelocallygrown.net/product-category/produce/vegetables/onions/” target=”_blank”]onion[/url] finely diced
1/2 – 1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup of [url href=”https://www.capelocallygrown.net/product-category/produce/fresh-herbs/basil/” target=”_blank”]lime basil[/url] (to taste)
Peel and rinse the tomatillos. Cut them in half crosswise. Place a piece of tin foil on a baking sheet or inside a large skillet. Place the tomatillos cut side down on the foil. Set the pan over a medium high heat on the stove. Cook the tomatillos over medium heat until they soften and begin to take on a nice char – turning once or twice during the process, 7-8 minutes. Set aside.
If you have a gas cooktop or grill, turn the flame onto medium high heat and rest the jalapeño peppers over the flame until it blisters and blackens, using your tongs to turn and rotate several times until the entire pepper is blackened. (I rest the peppers directly on the iron grate over the flame, so the flames lap at the skin.)
If you don’t have a gas stovetop or grill, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place peppers on a baking sheet. Roast for 20-25 minutes until softened and slightly blackened.
After peppers are cooked place them in a glass bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Set aside to cool. When peppers are cool enough to handle, slough off the charred skin with your fingers and discard (it should come away easily).
Cut off the stem of the peppers. With a knife, cut the peppers in half, lengthwise. Remove the seeds and discard. Cut the peppers into large chunks and place into a small mini-prep food processor. Add the tomatillos, garlic and herbs.
Using the chop or pulse button on the mini-prep, process the mixture until it’s the consistency of a chunky salsa.
Stir in the onion.
Season to taste with kosher salt and lime basil.
Serve with tortilla chips, burritos, tacos, grilled steaks, chicken, pork or fish.
[i]From Rick Bayless and adapted from Garlic & Zest[/i]
What a delicious way to taste and enjoy the bounties of summer! Perfect for a snack, appetizer, or light meal. You can click on the ingredient links in the recipe to shop the Market or save time by getting a Bruschetta Recipe Pack!
Bruschetta with Cherry Tomatoes and Basil
Recipe Type: Appetizer
Author: Cape Locally Grown
Chopped fresh tomatoes with garlic, basil, olive oil, and vinegar, to serve on toasted slices of sourdough bread.
1 pint of ripe cherry [url href=”https://www.capelocallygrown.net/product-category/produce/vegetables/tomatoes/” target=”_blank”]tomatoes[/url]
6-8 fresh [url href=”https://www.capelocallygrown.net/product-category/produce/fresh-herbs/basil/” target=”_blank”]basil[/url] leaves, thinly sliced* or chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt, more or less to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, more or less to taste
1 loaf of sourdough crusty [url href=”https://www.capelocallygrown.net/product-category/bakery_goods/loaf-breads/” target=”_blank”]bread[/url]
1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
Quarter the cherry tomatoes
Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C) with a rack in the top slot of the oven.
Toss tomatoes with garlic, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, basil, salt and pepper
Stir in the thinly sliced basil and add salt and freshly ground black pepper, adding more to taste. Note, tomatoes love salt; you may need to add more than you expect.
Toast the bread slices: Use a bread knife to slice the baguette on the diagonal making half-inch thick slices. Brush one side of each slice with olive oil (a pastry brush helps here) and place olive oil-side down on a baking sheet or roasting pan. The baguette slices will toast best in the top rack of your oven, so you may need to work in batches to toast them all. When the oven has reached 450°F (230°C) place the slices in the oven on the top rack and toast for 5 to 6 minutes until lightly browned around the edges.
Serve toasted bread with tomato mixture: Arrange the toasted bread on a platter, olive oil side facing up (the olive oil will help create a temporary barrier keeping the bread from getting soggy from the chopped tomatoes). Either serve the toasts plain with a bowl of the tomato bruschetta mixture on the side for people to top their own, or use a spoon to gently top each toasted bread slice with some of the tomato mixture. If you top each slice individually, do it right before serving.
[i]Adapted from [url href=”http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/bruschetta_with_tomato_and_basil/” target=”_blank”]Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil[/url] on Simply Recipes.[/i]
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