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A taste of spring: My Favourite Salsa

This morning, I happened to look up from my oodles of homework for a moment, and was blown away by what I saw out my window. A cloudless, blue sky! People wearing light jackets with bare heads and hands! For the second day in a row! That last point is the real clincher; here in London, one nice day is a fortunate anomaly. Two nice days means spring must be around the corner. Or so I’m really, really hoping.

March can be a frustrating month for cooks. I’m no longer excited by the hearty, rich meals of wintertime, but real spring produce is just a glimmer in the farmer’s market’s eye. Sure, the squashes and root veg are winding down in numbers, and the kale and purple sprouting are nearing the end of their season, but so far, they haven’t been replaced by anything that really rocks my world. I’ve got to say, I’m getting a bit sick of cabbage.

Luckily, when I need a taste of warmer climes, there are tomatoes. The Tomato Stall is at my local market every week, and though the winter fruit they offer doesn’t come close to what they’ll have a few months from now, it’s still delicious. Grown on the Isle of Wight, these little gems are sweet and flavourful and bursting with warm-weather wishes. It’s funny that I’m waxing so poetic about tomatoes, since up to recently I haven’t been able to abide them raw. But I guess I’m growing up, because these days I’ll happily chow down on the smaller, cherry and grape varieties.

A happy side-effect of this is that I can now make salsa. A warm-weather staple if ever there was one, a fresh, spicy salsa is perfect for tricking the taste buds into thinking that spring is here. Below is my favourite recipe, and simple though it may be, I think the balance of flavours is just what you need in a good salsa: sweet and sour with a good dose of spice. I like this in burritos or tacos, or on top of veggie burgers. It’s also nice as an omelette filling, tossed with some noodles and shrimp for a lunch salad, or even just as a dip for crackers or chips.

  • My Favourite Salsa
  • makes approx. 1 1/2 cups
  • 1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes (use the freshest and sweetest you can find)
    1/2 a red onion, chopped
    1 red chili, finely chopped (NOT deseeded)
    1 small garlic clove, minced
    1/3 cup chopped coriander (stalks and leaves)
    pinch sea salt
    juice of 1/2 lime
    1-2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1. Mix together all ingredients in a small bowl and let steep in the fridge for 30 minutes. You can drain this before serving if you like, but the sweet, sour, spicy liquid which comes off it is perfect if you’re mixing this into anything.

7 comments

  1. Samantha says:

    Yes! I am so glad you use cherry tomatoes. I used them in a salsa the other night, not having other tomatoes and was pleasantly surprised by the different flavor they give. Also, totally off cherry tomatoes, I have to say I adore your blog. It is beautiful, your recipes are inspiring and your photography is breathtaking. I was wondering, what kind of camera do you use? Thanks again Ele!

  2. MH says:

    what did you serve it over here? (the white stuff?)

  3. Ele says:

    Samantha- I agree, cherry tomatoes are the best in salsa! I think it’s the sweeter flavour, which you need to balance all the salty/sour/spicy ones.

    I use a Nikon D3000.

    MH- Ha, the “white stuff” is cottage cheese, that was my lunch yesterday. Sounds strange but was super tasty!

  4. kelly says:

    Your salsa caught my eye — and you mentioned London, a place I love. We’re lucky enough to have a ridiculous amount of fresh produce all year long because much of it is grown in Mexico which is a stone’s throw away. But I try to eat in season as much as possible. Salsa is definitely a staple, period! Gorgeous blog you’ve got!

  5. irene says:

    this looks fantastic!

  6. My wife and I love salsa, this one looks great. Thanks for posting.

  7. Salsa can be so refreshing and yours looks superb!