Sunday, October 13, 2019

Salsa Fresca Nueva

Salsa on top of Roast Chicken, green beans on side

Recipe inspired by Casalegno Farms

Every time I make salsa I wonder why I don’t make it more often. It’s easy and delicious, and can be varied numerous ways. Though I usually make salsa with lime juice, recently I learned a Casalegno Farms family secret: grandma used apple cider vinegar in her salsa. I was skeptical, but its subtle fruitiness enhances the tomato and pepper flavors without adding extra flavors from the citrus. So it allows me to bump up the Southwest spicing with cumin and cilantro, or whatever else I might have on hand.

Salsa and crackers
Classic: Salsa with Chips or Crackers
The most flavorful salsas include a variety of tomatoes and peppers. Heirloom tomatoes lend variety of color and flavor to the mix. Remember to seed and drain these thoroughly. Mix in some plum tomatoes for bright red accents. Use a mixture of Italian sweet peppers—red, yellow, greenish, and variegated, to maximize fullness of flavor. Try other varieties of hot peppers besides the classic jalapeno, with or without the seeds depending on your heat preference. Vary the amount of cumin and cilantro depending on your supply and tastes.

In addition to the usual chips and crackers dip, salsa can top Southwest salads. It perks up premade store-bought salads and sandwiches. Or try it on grilled, baked, or fried fish, or roasted chicken slices. Or as an alternative baked potato topper. Its fresh and spicy note livens up even the most staid meals.

Enjoy fresh salsa, at the end of fresh tomato and sweet pepper season. Let us know about your own salsa in a comment below—your must-have ingredients or favorite salsa pairings.

Add Salsa Zip to Commercially Made Salads
Salsa Fresca Nueva

3 cups seeded assorted tomatoes, finely diced
¾ cup seeded assorted sweet peppers, finely diced
¾ cup red onion, finely diced
1 - 2 seeded jalapenos, minced
2 large cloves garlic, pressed
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
½ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground cumin
freshly ground black pepper
½ cup finely chopped cilantro leaves

Dice the tomatoes, peppers, and onions into similar size pieces, about ¼ inch.

Drain the diced tomatoes well. Stir together with diced peppers and red onion. Add minced jalapenos, pressed garlic, cider vinegar, salt, cumin, and black pepper. Stir to distribute spices evenly. Stir in chopped cilantro leaves thoroughly.

Taste and adjust flavorings: vinegar, salt, black pepper, and cumin. Serve immediately.

Leftovers can be used within a couple of days. Refrigerate, and drain before serving.

Salsa Prep: tomato, onion, peppers
Basic Ingredients: Tomatoes, Onion, Sweet Peppers
Salsa Prep: with jalapeno and garlic
Add Savories: Garlic, Jalapeno

Salsa Prep: stirring ingredients together
Stir it Up!
Salsa Prep: Adding Spices and Vinegar
Add Spices, Vinegar, and Cilantro
Salsa topping leftover roast chicken and green beans
Perking up Leftovers

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