Salsa Dishes from the Garden: Basic Fresh Salsa

Mexican food is hot.

| August/September 1998

Basic Fresh Salsa

Makes about 2 cups

For variety, try adding small amounts of fresh chopped basil, clove basil, oregano, epazote, or thyme, or a squeeze of lemon or lime juice. Green or red jalapeño or serrano peppers may be included for a hotter version.

• 2 or more finely chopped banana, Fresno, or rocotillo chiles, seeds and membranes removed
• 2 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
• 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
• 1 clove garlic, crushed
• 2 tablespoons or more chopped fresh cilantro, or 3 sprigs Italian parsley, chopped
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon chopped fresh marjoram, or a dash of dried (optional)
• Dash of ground cloves (optional)

1. Hold the chiles over an open flame with tongs or a barbecue fork and roast until the outer skin cracks and blisters. Place them in a paper bag to cool. Remove the skin with the tip of a sharp knife and chop the peppers.

2. Combine the chopped peppers, remaining vegetables, and seasonings. Chill or serve at room temperature.

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