Thursday, September 1, 2016

Summer garden fresh salsa

The countdown to the end of Summer has officially reached ... zero. But, Summer doesn't have to end in the kitchen with the bountiful goodness at your nearest Farmer's Market and your imagination.

Mine, imagination that is,  hit into high gear this past weekend with some ripe tomatoes and recently purchased items at the Farmer's Market and spontaneous "Taco Sunday" purchases for dinner with my Man. So, don't throw away those ripe tomatoes ... bring them to life in a salsa.

My secret ingredient is not just any ole tomato. I'm into the Summer tomato favorite the Early Girl. Never had one? At the peak of the season they have a crisp outer skin and tender flesh and when cut, sprinkled with salt and nothing else burst in your mouth and taste sweet and juicy.

5 Early Girl tomatoes
1 Roasted jalapeño
1 Small bell pepper
3 Small garlic cloves
Handful of cilantro
1/2 Red onion
1/2 Fresh lime juice
1 tbsp. Pica de Gallo seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste.

Not much prep work involved for this accent to any meal, expect for the roasted jalapeño. Roast the pepper in the oven, on the grill, in a cast iron skillet... any way ya wanna. Allow the peel of the pepper to blister and char, typically about 5-8 minutes being sure to turn the pepper on all sides. Let the pepper cool. No need to remove skin or seeds.

Chopping. Not much just enough to help the processor along. Big chunks are just fine. Chop and dump is my motto. Pulse the ingredients a couple of times, then squeeze a half a line, salt pepper and pica de gallo. Whirl two pulses... and taste for additional seasoning. Keeping in mind once chilled the flavors meld and bloom. You can always add salt, but never take it away.

Serve with chips. On top of roasted chicken. Drizzled over room temperature cream cheese and chips... or just by the spoonful. The flavor is slightly sweet from the tomatoes, red onions and red bell pepper with a hint of spice.

The hot days of Summer have come to and end .... at least outside, but in the kitchen keep it sizzling with cool, crisp, sweet salsa from garden ingredients. Remember, cooking with love makes any recipe taste better.

Lady E

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