For us, salsa is all about finding the right balance between spicy and sweet–spicy from peppers and onion (and maybe garlic) and sweet from the most wondrous of fruits, the tomato. And maybe just a smidge of one more thing…
We grow 40 or so varieties of heirloom tomatoes; we’re constantly culling from and adding to our list of favorites. Could I tell you our favorite tomato today? Why, sure I could, but chances are, that would change by the end of our growing tomato season, which is roughly the end of September. I know one thing for sure: there’s nothing like the taste of a ripe tomato picked right off the vine and eaten while it’s still warm from the sun.
So salsa in September is the perfect opportunity to gather several different varieties of heirloom tomatoes and wonder at their perfection, individually and all at once. Of course, salsa is also a visual feast. We’ve come to expect the red of the tomato and the pepper, the green of the cilantro, the crisp whiteness of onion. But what about that yellow in my photo? That’s partly from a Hillbilly Tomato, which is a warm yellow burnished with rosy red shoulders, much like a peach. And then there’s an actual peach–yes, a fresh, ripe peach in our salsa. And that, simply put, is my secret. You want a balance of spicy and sweet? Add something unquestionably sweet. You could use other fruit of course (mango, pineapple, etc), but I love the peach because its texture is fairly similar to the tomato.
With the caveat that your tastes may dictate a change or two (and really, you can’t do salsa “wrong”) here’s my recipe for…
The Perfect Salsa
- 5 cups heirloom tomatoes, chopped
- 1 ripe peach, diced
- 1 cup of onion, diced
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 hot pepper, minced, or 1 tsp dried hot pepper flakes
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Juice of one lime
Mix and allow flavors to meld an hour–if you can stand to wait that long. 🙂