With some fresh off the vine tomatoes and a handful of other garden ingredients, you can make your own fresh, restaurant-style, blender salsa.
Despite producing a few frighteningly mutated specimen (particularly this one and this one), Zachary has proven himself to be an exceptionally prolific gardener, particularly when it comes to growing jalapenos and tomatoes. I don’t have much of a green thumb myself (I’ve managed to kill a cactus before, and some newly-potted, supposedly-bountiful mint is withering away on my windowsill) but everything Zach has planted has grown in spades. Perhaps it helps that I’ve actually caught him singing to his plants (though it’s far more likely that this may have been why we ended up with a few mutants).
Our garden is literally overflowing from its protective mesh confines; the tomato plants are gigantic, 6-foot-plus monstrosities, heavy with fresh green and ripened red-orange globes, their leaves and vines jungle-thick. Every day Zach brings in a new basket piled high with a sloppy pyramid of beefsteak, bushsteak, roma, and cherry tomatoes, his pockets crammed with plump jalapenos.
And each day for the past week or so I have happily taken his produce and transformed it into some of the freshest, tastiest salsa my taste buds have ever encountered.
I have been in salsa heaven, boiling and peeling, dicing and seeding tomatoes until my countertops look like crime scenes. I’ve tried many variations, tweaking the recipe until I found a combination that I felt was just perfect. The earthy bursts of fresh, ripe tomatoes, crisp white onion, the cool, citric lilt of lime juice and fresh cilantro, the warm, lingering undertones of the jalapeno–this salsa manages to provide it all.
I encourage you to try this recipe out as written (because, if you ask me, it really is the perfect combination of flavors, precisely designed for a light, refreshing and flavorful salsa with a decent but not overwhelming kick), but then feel free to do your own tweaking to suit your own tastebuds. This recipe is a highly customizable one: add corn and beans (after blending). Omit the lime juice. Leave in all of the jalapeno seeds (if you do this, be prepared for some hot salsa). Whatever suits your taste.
As much as I crave a daily sugar rush, this salsa makes for a great (healthier) snacking substitute, and if your garden is anything like
mine my husband’s, it’s a great way to use up that excessive amount of fresh produce before it goes bad.
Fresh Blender Salsa
- 3 cups peeled diced tomatoes, seeds removed (about 5-7 Roma tomatoes*, see Instructions below on how to peel)
- 4 oz can diced green chilis drained
- 2 tsp jalapenos seeds removed (include seeds as desired to suit preference for spiciness--I included about 1/2of seeds for what I would call a "medium" salsa)
- 1/2 cup small white onion about 1/3chopped
- 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 cloves garlic**
- 1 Tbsp lime juice fresh-squeezed preferred
- 2 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt***
How to peel tomatoes
Bring a large pot of water to a boil (the water should be at least deep enough to entirely cover your largest tomato). Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice water.
Cut a shallow "X" in the bottom of each tomato. Carefully, using tongs, transfer each tomato to the boiling water and allow to boil for 45-60 seconds (until you see the skin beginning to crack and peel).
Using tongs, remove tomatoes one at a time from boiling water and immediately drop in ice water. Allow to set for at least one minute before peeling (the skin will come off easily) and scraping out the seeds.
Place peeled, seeded, diced tomatoes in bowl and allow to sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients for the salsa. Allow to sit for at least 5 minutes.
Drain excess water from tomatoes, and add to blender.
Add all remaining ingredients to blender and pulse until completely combined.
Transfer to resealable container (I used a mason jar) and refrigerate at least 1 hour (this lets the flavors meld and really develop) before serving.
*I recommend Roma because they are the easiest to remove seeds from. However, I have made this recipe with great success using all kinds of tomatoes, most recently the beefsteak and bushsteak variety.
**I've found that the sizes of my garlic cloves can vary wildly, and adding two garlic cloves that are too large can lead to an overtly garlicky dip. Therefore, as a rule of thumb, I'd suggest comparing the clove to the width of your pinky nail. If the clove is smaller than that width or close, use two. If it is larger, use one.
***This is made with the consideration that salty tortilla chips will probably be eaten with the salsa. If this is not the case and you plan to use baked chips or use the salsa for something else entirely, I would increase the salt to 3/4-1tsp
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