It’s that time of year! Well, if you’re like me it’s always the salsa time of year but in terms of how fresh and nutritious your tomatoes, peppers, onions and cilantro are, it’s THAT time of year.
Throughout this season you can find nice looking salsa ingredients at the grocery store and more varieties, too! This is because it’s the growing & harvesting season for these types of fruits and veggies. Many of you probably have your own little tomato and pepper plants ready to bear fruit. Maybe you’ve already harvested most of your cilantro or are about to do so. Different varieties of onions are ready to pull and eat any time from now through the middle of summer, depending on what you’re growing and when you planted them. This is true for some peppers, too. Tomatoes and pepper plants may hit a lull when it gets very hot but just keep watering them even if they look sad. If you can keep these plants alive they will likely give you a nice bumper crop (second wave of produce) when it begins to cool off again in early Fall. Our Veritas Garden guru, Denise, tells me these things. She also says to let your cilantro plants go to seed instead of pulling them up (this is when you see little stems with flowers appear all over the plant). Just let it be. It will drop the seeds, die back and germinate again for a second harvest in Fall.
So, what’s an easy way to whip up a fresh and tasty salsa whenever you’re in need? We think this recipe is a good answer to that question. Here are a few things to keep in mind that also show you how easy and versatile this recipe really is:
If you like a lot of garlic, add more garlic!
If you want to grill your veggies for a smokier flavor instead of roast them in the oven, grill them!
If you like sweet, yellow onions better than purple onions, use a yellow onion!
If you like a little more char than most, leave them in the oven a bit longer!
If you want to add more salt, add more salt!
If you hate cilantro, leave it out!
See? You can’t mess this up. As with most home cooking, just do it how you like it 😉
A word about corn chips – If you’re familiar with the Veritas Basic Healing Diet you may remember a little note we made telling you, “Corn isn’t a vegetable. It’s a grain and is usually a GMO crop.” This is true. When you eat corn or corn products such as corn tortilla chips there are a few things to consider. One, is that it isn’t a veggie. It’s a grain and counts as such when you eat it. You need to know that as most of us are watching the amount and types of grain we eat.
Second, corn IS very often a GMO crop and we want to avoid that type of foodstuff all the time. To avoid this type of corn, look for heirloom varieties or organic corn products. You can find organic blue corn chips at most health food grocery stores.
Third, make sure you’re digesting corn well before eating a lot of it. Take those betaine and pepsin pills with meals you have a sneaky feeling might be a little tougher on the old digestive system.
There are so many ways to eat salsa that do not involve corn chips, however. It’s a great topping for eggs, avocados, hashes, salads, taco meat and any lettuce wrap or burger patty, just to name a few things.
I said in a previous post that this Condiment Queen lists salsa as one of my top 3 can’t-live-without condiments! Here’s the go-to, quick salsa recipe I keep on hand all summer long.
- 5 Roma tomatoes preferably organic, or other variety
- Half of a large purple onion peeled & maybe cut in half once
- 3 jalapenos serrano peppers, habanero peppers or any favorite variety, cut off the little stems
- 2 – 3 medium cloves fresh garlic you don’t have to chop them, peeled
- 1 large handful fresh cilantro long stems cut off
- ½ tsp salt or more to taste
- 2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
- Juice from 1 lime freshly squeezed
- Set your oven to BROIL. Or, if you’re grilling, you won’t need your oven at all!
- If roasting your veggies, place your tomatoes, onion, garlic cloves and peppers on a parchment paper lined pan. No need to chop anything. Just set them on there, whole. Easy peasy.
- Place your pan of veggies in the oven and, with a pair of tongs, turn the veggies every 2 or 3 minutes. You’ll want to monitor this part closely as the ‘broil’ setting on your oven can burn food quickly. Just keep turning them until you get the desired char on each side of your veggies. Since they’re small you’ll likely need to take your garlic cloves off the pan, first. *Note – if you don’t want to use your ‘broil’ setting just set your oven to 400 degrees and allow the veggies to roast until they start to become tender. Turn as needed. This will take a bit more time.
- If you’re grilling your veggies, it’s the same idea. Turn things until they become somewhat tender and you have the desired amount of char on each side. Grilling garlic cloves can be tricky. Try wrapping them loosely in a foil pouch and setting them on the grill that way.
- Place all your roasted/grilled veggies into the bowl of a food processor. You may want to cut some of the larger things like the tomatoes or peppers into big chunks so they’ll fit better. Note – if you’re afraid of too much spice, split the jalapenos in half and remove the seeds and veins on the inside. That will help.
- Add all the other ingredients – cilantro, salt, vinegar and lime juice.
- Using the ‘pulse’ button, manually give the ingredients a few whirs until the salsa reaches your desired consistency. Some people like it chunkier than others. You can also use a blender. Just be careful not to make soup! You may need to pause and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula once or twice.
- Pour into a bowl and serve immediately or store in the fridge in a jar or other container and enjoy it for a couple weeks (or more).