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Life is too short to eat bad food! Sharing great recipes, farm life, stories and photography from our Northern California dairy farm.

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April 26, 2012

Easy Spring Salsa via my friend, Nancy Johnson

I want to introduce you to someone who is a great writer, cook, party thrower, is lots of fun and is soon to enter the world of blogging, my friend, Nancy Johnson. Her salsa recipe is fabulous and perfect for the upcoming Cinco De Mayo celebration or any gathering.

Here's what Nancy has to say.................

Living in a fog belt, we have trouble growing heat-loving plants like tomatoes, eggplant, corn, and most peppers. But for some reason we always do well with jalapenos.  The plants manage to survive the foggy days in June, July, and August, and then spend September, October, and sometimes even November soaking up the sun. The peppers we get are never huge, but we always seem to have enough to make weekly batches of salsa from the time school starts up again through Thanksgiving.

Last year we had an exceptional crop of jalapenos – both plentiful and spicy. As a result, by the time the first frosts of November rolled around, we still had about fifty peppers in various stages of ripeness left on the tree.  I had no time to process these babies, so I simply harvested them and put them in the freezer.

Fast forward five months to a long weekend of wind and rain. Searching my freezer for a lost package of ground beef, I spotted the bag of jalapenos and was inspired. Fire up the grill, I shouted to my husband. It was time for a great spring salsa experiment.

By chance I had the other ingredients handy: a bunch of fresh cilantro, which nowadays is easy to find in the supermarket; onions and garlic; a can of chopped tomatoes; my choice of vinegar or lemon; and, of course, salt. Fifteen minutes on the Bar-B, a few whirls in the food processor, and voila: delicious homemade salsa.

Yes, the tomatoes were out of a can, not fresh. And yes we were wearing parkas, not swimsuits. But thanks to the power of the grill and just one of our jalapeno firebombs, we got our salsa fix – and a jumpstart on summer.

Easy Spring Salsa

½ bunch of fresh cilantro (about 1 cup), rinsed and towel-dried
1 onion – sliced in ½ inch rings
1 large clove garlic – unpeeled
1 jalapeno or serrano pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 28-oz can of diced tomatoes (or better yet, canned tomatoes from your own garden)
1 tablespoon white or apple cider vinegar; or 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
Salt to taste

Step 1: In a large bowl, toss onion, garlic clove, and pepper with olive oil. Coat well, using tongs or wear gloves to avoid touching the pepper.
Step 2: Using bar-b-que, inside grill, or broiler, grill vegetables until skin peels on jalapeno and onion rings are soft.

Step 3: Remove skin from garlic and stem/seeds from pepper. Remember to wear gloves when handling the pepper.
Step 4: Place ingredients in food processor in this order: tomatoes on bottom; onions, garlic and pepper next; fresh cilantro on top.
Step 5: Blend for about 1 minute in food processor, adding vinegar through liquids tube. Remember, you are making salsa, not soup, so don’t start the food processor and walk away. 

When the salsa is at the consistency you like (chunky or well-blended), stop processor and taste it. Add salt or more vinegar as needed. If the salsa is too spicy, add a little bit of sugar.

Serve with chips and your choice of beverage!

Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to leave a comment. I love to hear from you! Have a fantastic day!
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