My husband is a funny guy, but it took me a few months after we started dating to realize that some of his best material is almost entirely cribbed from the movies Animal House and Meatballs, 80s hair-band song lyrics, and Seinfeld episodes.
More than once (actually, a lot more than once, since my husband frequently tells me the same story or repeats a joke to me about 58 times), when my husband has seen me reach into the fridge to grab what I consider a kitchen staple, salsa, he has entertained me with the famous Seinfeld quote: “You know why salsa is so popular? Because people like to say salsa“, to which, I always reply, “Yeah? Well then why don’t you eat it?”, the answer being somewhat obvious to any reader of this blog. So imagine my surprise last weekend, when, being invited to our “new couple friends” house for dinner in their gorgeous Brooklyn garden, my husband eagerly dove into a bowl of our hostess’ homemade salsa fresca…
Kitty’s Salsa Fresca – Enough for a Party
3 -4 Whole Fresh Tomatoes
1 Whole White Onion
1 Fresh Jalapeno Pepper – Removed of Seeds & Pith
Juice of Half a Fresh Lime
Handful Fresh Cilantro Leaves
Hot Pepper Sauce to Taste
Salt to Taste
Step 1: First off, you want to blanch your tomatoes. Set a large pot of water to boiling, and prepare a large ice bath. Remove each tomato’s stem, cutting out the green core, and slice a large X mark through the skin on the underside of your tomatoes.
Step 2: CAREFULLY place each tomato into the boiling water. this is a great time to use a spider strainer. You could even lower all the tomatoes into the pot at once, by placing them in a pasta strainer attachment.
Step 3: After a minute or so, you will see the skin begin to peel away. Remove the tomatoes and drop them into the ice bath.
Step 4: The skin should peel away easily now. After removing it, slice the tomatoes in half or quarters, and squeeze out the seeds and juice. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
Step 5: Coarsely chop your onion. Take a look at this crazy onion I bought at the Grand Army Plaza Farmer’s Market. Any ideas what I could do with those greens?
Step 6: In a blender or food processor, start to blend the onion, pepper, and cilantro. Don’t overblend any of the ingredients – you don’t want a salsa slushie. Add the tomatoes, blending in pulses, adding the lime juice, hot sauce, and salt, until you reach the desired consistency.
Step 7: Strategically position tortilla chip so it appears to be a shark, like they did in the movie Clerks.
I don’t know why it took me so long to figure out that pureeing was the trick to getting my husband to eat salsa. Since my tastes run more to the chunkiness of a pico di gallo, that’s always what I buy or make. We enjoyed this salsa spooned into delicious soft tacos that we filled with thinly sliced flank steak, grilled onions & red peppers, and shredded manchego cheese.
I know, I know, salsa isn’t exactly as brimming with nutrients as a heaping bowl of spinach, but there is something very satisfying in seeing my husband generously top his dinner with a fresh and healthy condiment which got almost all it’s ingredients from the local farmer’s market. This recipe also made more than enough (it filled a 32 oz container, and a large bowl for dinner) for me to take to my parents BBQ this coming weekend.
On our official veggie fake-out broccoli scale, I give this recipe 2 out of 10 heads of broccoli.