Thursday, August 12, 2010

Heirloom Tomato Salsa

Am I alone when I say that half the reason I even go to Mexican restaurants is for the free chips and salsa?  Not that the freeness is the draw, but the fresh chips and fresh salsa are something that Pace Picante and Tostitos just can't compete with.  Since discovering local chips brand, Casa Sanchez (my favorite), I've been on the search for the perfect accompaniment.  A stand at our farmers market sells fresh salsa, and while it is wonderful, I've decided it's a little too harsh for my taste (too much raw onion perhaps).

Natalie made us an heirloom tomato salsa the other night that was absolutely delicious.  I decided I would try my hand at one as well, and it did not disappoint.

Now that fresh tomatoes are in season and abundant, there's no reason not to use up your bounty making fresh salsa.  It's incredibly easy and allows you to customize it to your tastes (spiciness, texture, raw onionness, etc.).

You make salsa exactly how you imagine you make salsa: by combining every salsa-like ingredient and then blending until you get the texture you want.  My recipe includes heirloom tomatoes, onion, cilantro, garlic, jalapeno, lime juice, and kosher salt.  Heirloom tomato salsa comes out with a distinctive color because heirloom tomatoes are often colors other than red.  I used one red, one yellow, and one purple, which makes for an orange salsa that you won't be able to stop eating.

I was scraping the bottom of my salsa bowl any way I could to get every last juicy morsel.  The chips I used may be just as good as the chips at a restaurant, but this salsa is a lot better.  Free salsa isn't going to be made with fresh heirloom tomatoes, guys.  This one packs such a delicious punch that you may not be able to crave restaurant salsa ever again (for which I apologize).

Heirloom Tomato Salsa
2 large (or three medium) ripe heirloom tomatoes, chopped
1/2 large white onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seeded, and minced
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
Juice of one lime
Kosher salt to taste

Add ingredients to a blender or food processor and pulse until it reaches your desired consistency (I like mine pretty smooth).  Be sure to add kosher salt to taste, as it really heightens the flavor.  Enjoy with thin and crispy chips and your life will never be the same.

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