If you believe the marketing hype, the summer/fall seasonal switch flipped last week in the moment between Labor Day and September 8th. One day, we were wearing flip flops and slurping ice cream; the next, everyone was wrapped up in woolen scarves and sipping lattes. While I have nothing against fall per se, it’s something I need to ease into, a season I’m not entirely sure about until I get to know it a little better. This slow getting-to-know-you is, in fact, the way fall actually works, if you ignore the back to school sales and pumpkin spice hoopla. Cooler days are punctuated with occasional 80 degree highs, a final encore from summer before she bows off the stage. At the farmer’s market, the first apples are positioned next to the last sweet corn, and heirloom tomatoes and knobby gourds nestle together in a cross-seasonal collage. We got a bundle of fall lettuce in our CSA this week, while my parents dropped off a heavy box of summer cucumbers, zucchini, and tomatoes from my dad’s garden. The cucumbers were promptly sliced and served with hummus, and the zucchini became gnocchi with zucchini and feta. I could have used the tomatoes for a hearty recipe, maybe a slow simmering tomato sauce or ratatouille. But I wanted the taste of summer to linger for just a little bit longer, so instead the dozen tomatoes became pasta with fresh sauce, cold tomato soup served with popovers on our patio, and fresh salsa.
My fresh salsa recipe isn’t anything special—it’s lightly adapted from my trusty Betty Crocker cookbook. But fresh salsa is the sort of thing that is really only worthwhile if you use good tomatoes, bright red ones that were ripened on the vine. You can obviously serve the salsa with chips, but I usually add it to zucchini fajita rice bowls or black bean tacos. The salsa keeps for about 4 days in the refrigerator and usually gets a little spicier the longer it sits.
Yield: about 4 cups of salsa
Adapted from the Betty Crocker Cookbook, 10th Edition
- 3 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped into 1/4 inch pieces (about 4 cups)
- 8 green onions (white and light green parts only), chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped seeded jalapeno pepper
- juice of one lime (about 2-3 tablespoons)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Combine ingredients in a medium plastic or glass container with a tightly fitting lid. Mix thoroughly, cover, and refrigerate for at least one hour.
Stir salsa before serving. Salsa will keep in refrigerator for about 4 days.