I first made salsa several years ago in the kitchen of a restaurant. We used a case of tomatoes, several pounds of onions, and bunch upon bunch of bound up cilantro. In the end, the veggies were dumped into a five gallon bucket along with a few spices and juices and hauled into the walk-in refrigerator to soak until dinner.
It was hardly a recipe for the home cook, but the taste stuck. I found myself working to recreate it for dinner parties, atop grilled fish or perhaps as a dip, changing the proportions each time in pursuit of that perfect, industrial recipe taste.
It wasn't until last night that I thought for the first time I might have it right. As it turns out, the secret is in the produce, not the proportions. Using fresh hot house tomatoes from Coonamessett Farm, onions from the farmers' market, and cilantro from my own garden, the flavor finally hit that high, crisp note I'd been seeking. I spooned it over fresh grilled scallops, and dug in.
Makes about 2 cups
Finely chop one cup fresh tomatoes. In a food processor, blend 1/2-3/4 cup chopped fresh onion (with greens) and fresh cilantro to taste (I use several tablespoons). Add onions and cilantro to tomato mixture and mix in 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon cider vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Let sit several hours refrigerated before serving to allow flavors to mix.