10.04.2010

Quiet & loud

It is fall. That much, I think, we can firmly, officially say. It's there in the wind, the way it blows now in big, gusty shouts, in the strawberry patch in the last tiny berries and the red, faded leaves. It's in the garden, in the brown, crumpled vines and the new spinach patch sending up wavering shoots of green. It's in the leaves, on the windowsill, all at once quiet and loud, suddenly everywhere on display.


But amidst all this, one windowsill, one routine hasn't changed. That's the one you've been seeing all summer, the one where the tomatoes sit. They're still there, trickling in from the garden, nestling onto a dishcloth, craning toward the sun, trying to soak up some heat. They straddle the seasons—July, August, September, October—moving from hot to chilly without missing a hint of a beat.

What we do with them, though, that has changed. The salads and sandwiches and simplicity have been replaced with more careful, more nuanced things. These days they're going to salsa—lemon juice, cilantro, and onion—swirled together in the Cusinart for an early, before dinner treat. It's a routine that goes best, I think, with blue corn tortilla chips and slippers and a good book, but maybe that's just me.

FRESH SALSA

I learned this recipe from Alex one day when he was shorthanded at one of his markets. I went to help out in the kitchen, and my first task was to make a batch of salsa. Of course, the proportions were a bit different that day—they make about five gallons at a time—but the basic idea was the same. The key is to use very fresh ingredients and to keep the texture coarse—this is a fresh salsa, after all, and not meant to be smooth like the kind you put up and store.

1 small yellow onion, peeled and quartered
1 bunch cilantro (about 1/2 cup packed)
1 pound tomatoes, quartered
juice of 1 lemon (about 1/8 cup)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt

In a food processor, pulse together the onion and cilantro until they are very finely chopped. Add the tomatoes, lemon juice, pepper, and salt, and pulse several more times, until the tomatoes are in coarse chunks. Adjust seasonings to taste and enjoy at room temperature, with corn tortilla chips.

2 comments :

Anonymous said...

Mmmmmm, this looks so good. My windowsills are also full of tomatoes, mostly cherries. I'll get to work before supper this evening and create a nice appetizer.

Your last blog inspired me to plant some garlic. I tried the roasted garlic, and it was fabulous!

Thank you for all the good ideas, and please keep 'em coming. ~A Maine Reader

6512 and growing said...

It is salsa time isn't it? I've almost had my share of fresh tomatoes, almost, and am moving onto sauce and salsa.

Cheers, from a Colorado locavore!
Rachel

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