If the calendar says summer, then it must be summer, right? Even though I spent the day bundled in a thermal, sweatshirt, jeans and rain boots? Even though the temperature hovered around 50 something...even in the "heat" of the afternoon? Even though the tomato plants in the garden are withering, not from heat and drought, but cold and wet?
Indeed, it is summer, and here on the east coast, sunshine and warmer temperatures are promised for Thursday, so there is some (sun)light at the end of this dark, foggy, misty tunnel. At any rate, I was able to snag some ripe-ish local tomatoes at Cape Abilities farm to make some summery salsa the other day. Normally I grill the ingredients, but the weather was having none of that. Sadly, we haven't even uncovered the grill (or eaten outside!). So instead, I broiled the ingredients to create the necessary char which lends a terrific smoky flavor to the finished salsa.
Because the tomatoes, chiles and onions need time to cool, then meld together after they are chopped up, it's best to make this earlier in the day so it is ready for cocktail hour, when you invite your friends and family over to enjoy it with some chips and a classic summertime beverage. It's probably a good idea to make a large quantity so you'll have some leftovers...though it's quite addictive, and you may find you have none left over at all. This salsa will heat up your summer evenings, no matter if they are spent out on the deck under the stars, or huddled and shivering around the kitchen table.
Charred Tomato Salsa
makes 1 1/2 cups
6 firm tomatoes (plum, or any other firm tomato is fine)
2 jalapeno peppers
1 t salt
1/2 C minced white onion
1/2 C finely chopped cilantro
juice from one lime
Grill or broil tomatoes, scallions, and jalapenos over (or under) high heat until beginning to become blackened on all sides, watching carefully and turning frequently. Remove stems and root ends from veggies, rough chop, and pulse in a food processor, along with salt until blended to your desired consistency (I like mine pretty smooth). Taste to see if you have added enough salt. Put into a bowl and refrigerate until cold, at least one hour. Add onion, cilantro and lime juice and stir. Return to refrigerator for one hour more. Taste for seasoning. Serve with chips (or veggies...if you are trying to be healthy or something). Don't forget the margaritas!