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Simple salsa. August 8, 2014

Posted by ourfriendben in recipes.
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Silence Dogood here. Someone came onto our blog, Poor Richard’s Almanac, yesterday and asked for a recipe for salsa. I was surprised—doesn’t everybody know how to make salsa?—but given all the bells and whistles that have happened to the basic recipe, maybe people are intimidated.

Not that I’m against bells and whistles, I just don’t want them in my tacos and burritos. To me, a corn and black bean salsa is a salad. I’d serve it over a bed of lettuce and add red onion and a little olive oil and vinegar. Mango salsa would be perfect in dal, the Indian lentil dish. Peach salsa would make a great, surprising topping for vanilla ice cream, or layered with whipped cream in an angelfood or pound cake.

But for Mexican food, I want a straightforward salsa. And for me, that involves dicing a sweet onion (such as Vidalia or WallaWalla) and some paste tomatoes (other kinds are too runny) and a red or orange bell pepper, then mincing a jalapeno and/or adding a splash or so of Tabasco Chipotle Sauce, throwing in a dash of Key lime or lemon juice and salt, adding minced fresh cilantro to taste, the end. Sure, you could add minced garlic and green olives, but I don’t. I love cilantro, so I add lots, but if you hate it, leave it out.

The obvious way to get around all this is to buy fresh salsa from the produce section of your grocery. You’ll get the tomato, onion, bell pepper, and hot pepper. You can choose from mild or hot. If “hot” isn’t hot enough, you can add another jalapeno or splash in your favorite hot sauce until you get it right. No shame! But you have to remember to buy it just before you use it, just as if you were making your own. Fresh salsa, storebought or homemade, doesn’t keep. If you have leftover salsa, tuck it into an omelet or huevos rancheros, or some spaghetti or pizza sauce to spike the flavor. Or put it in one of those seven-layer bean dips. Or just warm up tortilla chips and dip in!

‘Til next time,

Silence

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