| Friends with food

What: Fresh Autumn Salsa
How much: under $10, depending on your tomato source
Why: To hang on to tomato season and summer for as long as you CAN (in canning jars or not – get it?)

We always miss fresh tomatoes dearly in the dead of winter (when they’re ghostly, mealy, and practically unrecognizable), so now is the time to buy tomatoes, in abundance. Find them cheap and in large quantities at markets like Jean-Talon. If you’re committed to playing with tomato recipes, storage methods, and fun uses for large quantities, read on.

We saw heaps of tomatoes and wondered: Sauce or soup? Soup or sauce? Until we finally settled on…salsa! Salsa has the versatility and zest for life that we like in a food. If you really go crazy buying tomatoes in bulk, you can still check out our blog for some soup and sauce ideas.

On to Mission: Salsa!
8 cups of tomatoes, chopped into small pieces and with as many of the seeds removed as possible
1 red onion, cut into rounds
1 small yellow or white onion, finely chopped
5-7 cloves of garlic (about one whole head)
Hot peppers of your choice (how many and how hot are up to you and your taste buds)
2-3 ears of corn, shucked
½ cup black beans
One small bunch of fresh parsley, no stems
1 lime
1 tsp salt
Fresh black pepper

If your tomatoes are particularly watery, let them drain for a minute and collect the liquid. Roast the corn, red onion, garlic, and hot peppers. In a large pot, heat a few tablespoons of oil (olive or vegetable) over medium high heat. Add the chopped white or yellow onion to the oil for about 1 minute, then add the black beans. Cook together, stirring, for about five minutes, adding a tablespoon or two of juice from the tomatoes if it starts to stick to the pot.  Add the roasted vegetables cut into small pieces, or removed from the cob in the case of corn.Let cook for another minute. Add the tomatoes, parsley, juice of the lime, salt, pepper, and remove from the heat and stir together. You can either store for a few days (make it days before a party!) or try your hand at canning for the winter.

Eating salsa is just as fun as making it. We love salsa on fish, and why not try it with pork, rice or on top of a nice bean soup or chili? It’s at its best with a nice simple, salty chip with nothing to interfere with the tastes you worked so hard to blend and highlight. We’ll experiment with chip recipes for your benefit and post about it on our blog!

Tips and Tricks: Roasting!

In the oven: drizzle your veggies with olive oil (or just cut off the very tip and set on its flat bottom in the case of garlic) and put them in a hot oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, turning once. They’re ready when they’re cooked but not burnt, so check on them once in a while!

On a grill: drizzle with olive oil and place on the hot grill until they brown slightly. Cut the tips off the garlic and wrap in aluminum foil to grill.