How would you describe the perfect summer day? What would you do? Where would you go? Who would be there?
I was lucky enough to have a day like this a couple weekends ago–filled with love, family, sunshine, low humidity, good music, local foods and it ended with a visit to a food truck roundup. Truly, it was one of those days that makes me wish summer lasted forever.
My cousin and I perused a the Worthington & Grandview Avenue farmers’ markets, playing Mumford & Sons between trips, munching on AJ’s delicious Sasafrass Bakery goodies and a couple Hadduk from Ajumama, a Korean food truck. Their hodduk is basically a bread dough wrapped around a cinnamon, sugar & nut filling–and this one also included some glorious Bluescreek Farm bacon. I wish I’d thought to photograph it, but I guess you’ll have to go try your own, now, right? ;o)
Among other things at the markets, we came across a box of “grade 2” tomatoes going for a really low price so figured, “why not make salsa?” With that in mind we grabbed some jalapeños before heading on.
Fast forward to a couple nights later. I had planned on making salsa after working my office job. In a moment of serendipity, my best friend’s mom bestowed upon me & Chad the gift of several ripe tomatillos from her garden. I tell you, when it comes to being connected to loving, thoughtful people I feel like one of the wealthiest people in the world and for that I’m ever so thankful!
*Taking a moment to let that really sink in…*
Okay, so I suppose I should actually talk a little about salsa so here goes…
I had one of those moments in the kitchen where I just start going and don’t really follow–or document–a recipe. So, I’ll do my best to recall the amounts of each ingredients I used. I’ll be honest, I kind of love having those moments.
- 10-12 medium tomatillos, husks removed
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 medium white onion, peeled, cored & coarsely chopped
- 2 jalapeños, stem & ribs removed (save seeds if you want to add more spice)
- lime juice
- Roast tomatillos & garlic on an oiled, foil-covered baking sheet at 400°F until tomatillos are slightly charred and withering.
- While those are roasting, pulse the onion, jalapeño & cilantro until all are minced rather finely.
- When the roasting is done, pop tomatillos & garlic out of their skins & toss into the food processor with onion, jalapeno & cilantro. Add a Tbsp or two of lime juice and a pinch of salt. Pulse the food processor until you reach a consistency you appreciate.
- Now comes the fun part of tasting and adjusting lime & salt levels to your preference. You can even add more jalapeño if you prefer more spice. It’s also a good idea to add some stock (veggie or chicken) to thin out the salsa if you plan to can it. There’s a lot of natural pectin in tomatillos and the salsa will “gel” up if you don’t add more liquid. And why add water when stock adds so much more flavor, right? Some day, I’ll get to a post about homemade stock.
Roasted Tomato, Onion & Jalapeño Salsa
- 8-10 medium tomatoes, cored & chopped in 4-6 large pieces
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 medium red onion, peeled, cored & coarsely chopped
- 2-3 jalapeños, stem & ribs removed (save seeds if you want to add more spice)
- lime juice
- 1 tsp cumin
- Prepare similarly to the tomatillo salsa listed above, just using tomatoes in place of tomatillos–and also adding whole jalapeños to the roasting tray with the tomatoes & garlic.
- Peel & remove stems & ribs from jalapeños after roasting.
- Finish off the tomato salsa in a similar fashion to the method described above for the tomatillo salsa. Just don’t forget the cumin. Also, if you make it too spicy you can add a bit of vinegar to tame that–not too much and feel free to get creative. I used red wine vinegar for a bit of added flavor.
If you want to preserve either salsa, boil on stove for about 5 minutes constantly stirring then pour into sterilized jars, cap with lids & rings then place in water bath for 20 minutes.
Oh, and if you like the look of those hearty corn chips, they’re from Shagbark Seed & Mill in nearby Athens, Ohio. Delicious!