Tomato and pepper season is upon us. So it’s time to make salsa. Luckily I am the laziest cook on Earth and I will show you how to make the laziest salsa on Earth.
First, get you to the farmer’s market and collect the following items:
4 or 5 good tomatoes or even not the best tomatoes. It doesn’t matter. Get some that are a bit less juicy if you want.
One small green farmer’s market box of tomatillos. This will have between 5 and 10 tomatillos in it.
Cilantro if you like it.
Scallion. Or shallots. Or red onion. Whatever is your favorite.
3 or 4 of your favorite peppers. Peppers are tricky to get these days because the peppers that used to be reliably hot (jalapeno, say) are no longer so. This year I have found that the jalapenos are pretty good. As are the red cayenne. The red cayenne are also pleasingly sweet in addition to having that chili-ness. Hatch and Serrano are also nice. This year the local market has also had what I think are red Fresno peppers that were good. In any case, get a few of what you like. Enough so you can add enough heat to the final mix.
Optional: cut the chilis open and roast them a bit in the oven. This makes them nice.
To balance the heat, remove some of the seeds and veins from the peppers if you want. But leave some of the seeds in so the final result is hot enough. This is the hardest thing to guess at until you get it right. After you have decided what to do chop the peppers into prett big pieces.
Peel and quarter the tomatillos.
Chop the tomatoes into quarters or big chunks. Some people like to peel the tomatoes too. Do that if you are not as lazy as me.
Coarsely dice up whatever onion you picked.
Chop up the cilantro.
Now get out your food processor and into it throw:
- The tomatillos.
- The peppers.
Grind that up to make more room.
Toss in the rest of the stuff a bit at a time, starting with the tomatoes. As you add each thing pulse the food processor to make more room.
Finally add a few dribbles of rice vinegar to add a bit of acid. Finish with the dreaded “salt to taste”. Two or three pinches of kosher salt should do it.
Now continue to food process it until it’s nice and pulverized. You should end up with little bits of tomato and such … the food process doesn’t liquify stuff the way a blender might.
If the resulting mash is too watery pour it through a strainer to get rid of some of the juicy juice. When it’s a good consistency put it in a large bowl and cool it off in the fridge for an hour or two.
It will take you a bit of practice to get the balance between the tomatoes and tomatillos right, and to get the heat like you want it. I have found that the salsa gets less hot as it sits in the fridge, so making it a bit too hot to start it a good move. Do this once a week until you are good at it. Then every year you can do it again and make salsa that’s better than the rest.