Salsa: What can I say? There’s a reason this is the world’s most popular condiment. I like some heat in my salsa, so this one’s got some kick, but feel free to vary it up. It’s a great topping for meats, especially fish. I especially like to change the flavors by adding a seasonal or fresh fruit like crisp apples, mangoes or Asian pears to this basic recipe. It’s great on chopped vegetables or homemade baked tortilla or pita chips. I also like to drain my salsa by placing in a fine mesh sieve when done.
- 1 can Ro-Tel diced tomatoes with green chilies (optional- if not using add 5-6 more fresh tomatoes seeded and chopped. If using a can, make sure the liquid is drained)
- ½-3/4 bunch fresh chopped cilantro
- Juice of 2 lemons
- Juice of 1 lime
- ¼ tsp of lemon zest
- 1/2 chopped red onion
- 1/2 chopped green pepper
- 1 small chopped jalapeño and/or 1 tbsp adobo sauce (add more if you like it hot)
- 5 finely chopped roma tomato
- 3 finely chopped garlic clove
- Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all the ingredients except cilantro in the food processor. Pulse for 8-10 seconds. Add cilantro and pulse for 3-5 more seconds. Allow to come to room temperature to serve.
Healthy Byte: What are generally referred to as “hot peppers”, like chilie peppers or the jalapeño peppers used above are members of the capsicum species of plants. It is believed that the active ingredient in these peppers, capsaicin, may actually protect the stomach lining from damage by killing bacteria and stimulating the protective stomach secretions. These peppers have also been used as a digestive aid, appetite stimulant and they can produce endorphins. Capsaicin, when applied topically, is a vasodilator and enhances circulation leading to a warm feeling and pain relief. But I recommend you eat it instead of rubbing it all over, at least if there’s company present.