End of Summer Tomato Salsas & Edge of the Sun

Every year, I anxiously wait for summer tomatoes and the fresh, achingly, savory, sweet flavor of them. I will eat them on toast, in grilled cheese, like an apple and in salads galore. Summer tomatoes are the king of summer foods. This is my first summer in Seattle and many locals have said that our summer was mostly non-exist this year. We’ve already had quite a few colder rainy days. The sun-ripened tomatoes tell me other wise, but I too am still craving more days of soaking up the sun and languishing in the late evenings that Seattle’s sun provides. Summer tomatoes also mean the year’s best salsa.

My fiance and I met under the endless sunshine of Tucson’s rays and spent many moments indulging in roach coaches and South Tucson’s authentic Mexican restaurants where we were the only non-Spanish speakers and there was only one option for spice. Hot. (Thank you Pico de Gallo!) Salsa was as big a part of our initial courtship as was Tucson’s stunning sunsets and a beer. We both remember Calexico serenading us as we fell in love. Grilling outside to Calexico, driving to Bisbee and reaching 100,000 miles in a Grand Prix to Calexico and late nights while Carried to Dust played in the background. It is hard to separate Tucson, salsa and Calexico in our minds. I don’t mind this at all. This pairing is an ode to summer, to my love and to Tucson (which by association includes salsa and Calexico).

I’m still not ready yet to let the flavors, the feelings or the sun go just yet. One more time this year, with these salsas and the alluring, textured sounds of Calexico, celebrate summer with me.

 

Vinyl: Calexico – Edge of the Sun

EdgeoftheSun

 

 

End of Summer Salsas

Fresh Tomato Salsa

Prep Time – 20 minutes

Total Time – 40-45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 large summer tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded, minced
  • 1 red onion, finely minced
  • 4 tablespoons of chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Place chopped tomatoes and jalapeno in a large bowl. Season with a bit of salt.
  2. Take the minced red onion and rinse in a strainer for 10-15 seconds under cold water. Drain and add to the bowl with tomatoes.
  3. Stir cilantro and lime juice into the bowl. Season to taste with salt.

Roasted Tomato and Chile Salsa

Prep Time – 20 minutes

Cook Time – 20 – 25 minutes

Total Time – 40-45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 Hatch Chiles
  • 3 Basque Fryer Chiles (can sub 3 other chiles of your choice)
  • 4 large red tomatoes, whole
  • 1.5 cups of cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 white onion, sliced into rings
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 serrano pepper, seeded (as desired) and chopped
  • 2 tsp of apple cider vinegar
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven broiler to high. Place all of the chiles on a baking sheet below the broiler. Pay close attention and turn them every 5 minutes or so. After 20-25 minutes when they are soft and mostly black/charred, remove them from the oven. Place them into a waiting paper bag (or bowl that can be covered). Let them sit for 15 minutes. Peel the skin and remove as many seeds as desired.
  2. Once the peppers are out of the oven, change the oven temperature to 425 degrees. Place the tomatoes on the same baking sheet along with the onion rings and garlic. Roast all of these about 15 minutes, turning midway through roasting. When finished, the onions and garlic should be soft.
  3. Place your peppers, onions and garlic into a food processor and process until smooth. Add the serrano pepper. Add half of the roasted tomatoes and process until smooth. Add the rest of the tomatoes and process to desired texture. Pour into desired serving bowl. Add the apple cider vinegar, mix well.  Season to taste with salt. Enjoy!

Notes:

These really are best with end of summer tomatoes when the flavor is at an all time high and nostalgia for a summer past is also. Each salsa can be made separately on its own but the two really complement each other well and contrast in flavor, texture and styles. Serve with chips, tacos and a freshly made margarita!

You are able to adjust any of the salsas as needed for taste or spice. Either increase the chiles or decrease depending on your needs.

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