By Guest Blogger – Beth Cooper
Now that the weather is starting to warm up I have begun think about planting our garden. And when I say “planting our garden,” I mean “my husband planting our garden.” That’s his thing. He does the garden in the back yard; I do the flowers in the front yard. Our daughters love to help him and he loves to teach them all about gardening, although I suspect he could get it done quicker without them. My favorite thing about our small backyard garden is of course the fresh vegetables that it produces. Mainly the tomatoes. I love fresh tomatoes and I love to make homemade salsa with them. Like, every day. I want to make salsa every day because I could eat the whole bowl every day. It’s that good. Of course, I don’t actually make it or eat it every single day, but I want to. I am a self-proclaimed salsa addict. Of course our garden isn’t even planted yet, but the warm weather has kicked my salsa cravings into overdrive so I have been buying fresh produce at the market and starting my “salsa season” off early.
I have tried lots of lots of different salsas over the years. There’s not too many that I don’t like but I do have two favorites that I like to make at home. They are both super easy to make. I would recommend using a food processor. If you don’t have one and think that you would like to make salsa on a regular basis, I recommend buying one. I recently had to replace mine with a new one and I spent about $40. I would be lost without one plus my wrists would probably hurt from all the cutting and dicing by hand. At the rate that I make salsa, I would probably end up with Carpal Tunnel. Ha! I’m all for comfort, so I use the food processor. My four-year-old loves to stick the onions and the tomatoes down the chute, so really all I have to do is push a button.
This first recipe is my favorite. It was given to me several years ago by a friend and has always been a big hit at backyard barbeques.
SALSA #1 – You will need:
- 4 medium tomatoes
- 3 sprigs of cilantro (although I like to use 12-15 sprigs because I love cilantro)
- ½ large onion
- 2 poblano peppers (1 can green chiles can be substituted or 2 anaheim peppers)
- 1 Jalapeno pepper
- 1 ½ Tbsp. lime juice
- 1 tsp. ground pepper
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
First, seed all peppers. Throw all of your ingredients in your food processor and chop until it as chunky as you like it. I prefer mine to be very finely chopped. You may want to put the onions in first and chop them into a fine consistency before adding everything else to prevent your tomatoes getting too juicy. Let it chill in the refrigerator for a while and then serve. It is really good! I would consider this a “mild” salsa but honestly, sometimes I end up with hotter peppers than the time before so it is a bit of a gamble on how hot it will turn out. My family doesn’t like it too hot, so if it turns out a bit on the warm side, I just add more tomatoes.
Like I said, this is my favorite homemade salsa but it is not my husband’s favorite. He doesn’t love cilantro as much as I do, so he prefers this next recipe. I guess you can call it a recipe. It is so simple that I always feel embarrassed when asked what I did to make it… and I get asked every time I take it somewhere. I will admit that it is so easy and so well liked that I regularly take it to get-togethers and potlucks. As a busy mom of three I am not ashamed to say that I (gulp!) used a mix! And that this darn mix is just as addicting as the first recipe that requires buying more ingredients.
So here it is: It is made by Concord Farms and I usually find it in the produce section of my grocery store. I use the food processor with this recipe as well.
SALSA #2 - You will need:
- 4-6 tomatoes
- 1 small onion
- 1 package of Concord Farms salsa mix
Finely chop the onion in the food processor and then add the tomatoes until it is the consistency that you desire. Stir in 1 package of the mix. This recipe can be made hotter by using two packets and it is also easily doubled. Chill in the fridge for a bit; then serve on chips. Dee-lish!! And if anyone asks for your recipe, just tell them that you got it off the Internet! You don’t have to tell them it’s a mix!
Whichever recipe you decide to try, I think you will love it! But be warned, it is addicting…