Anyone who cooks who has at the very least a window with some sun should attempt to grow something they’ll eventually eat. Doing so makes a person appreciate in a very small way the amount of trouble farmers and other producers have to go through to bring product to us.
Through the grace of luck and great friends, I live in a house with enough yard to actually grow some herbs in containers, a few tomato plants off the back deck, and a few pepper plants.
This year, the yellow cherry tomatoes, and heirloom yellow variegated tomatoes decided to produce well beyond what I expected. The cherry tomato plant produces roughly a handful of ripe fruit a day, so I’ve been snacking on those after I get back from walking my dog. The heirloom tomatoes were ripening all at once along with birdseye chilies, serrano chilies, and jalapeno peppers. I had some flatleaf parsley and some cilantro growing in the herb pots, so I decided to make some salsa fresco.
Three heirloom tomatoes, diced, 3 campari tomatoes diced. 10 cherry tomatoes, halved. One red onion, diced, two cloves of garlic, grated on a microplane, one lime, zested and juiced, and the cilantro and parsley twisted up tight and sliced fine (chiffonade), some dried ground cumin, and some kosher salt.
I wanted a bit less snap to my peppers, so after I sliced them (yesterday), I put them in a jar with about a cup of white wine vinegar, two tablespoons of sugar, and a quarter teaspoon of salt. I gave them a day to pickle slightly and knock back the burn just a little bit. Save the liquid from the peppers. It makes a great base for salad dressing or marinade.
Combine your ingredients in a bowl to mix them up and make sure they are thoroughly combined. The kosher salt will start to draw the moisture out of the tomatoes and make that nice liquid that’s in with the chunky vegetables. Portion it off into mason jars and put it in the fridge for a few hours. You want the flavors to marry a bit and the salsa to be nice and cool when you serve it.
I had some leftover roast chicken, some flour tortillas, and a bit of cheddar-jack cheese grated so I built myself a very nice quesadilla. On the first tortilla, spread salsa, sprinkle cheese, slice some chicken breast thinly, add second tortilla. Put that in the oven at 400 degrees for about 8-10 minutes but keep watch over it. While that’s cooking, take some lime zest, lime juice, and sour cream and combine them to serve with your quesadillas.
The salsa is also very nice spooned over some broiled fish or chicken.