Category Archives: tomatoes

Salsa Fresca

Want to know the secret to making the most delicious salsa on earth?  It’s simple: grow yo’ sh*t.   You don’t need a garden to grow your own tomatoes, a large container will suffice, and they taste so much better than the impostors at the supermarket.  There really is no comparison. Last spring,  Sunset Magazine had a great article on “salsa in a pot”, so I tried it out this year.  I grew tomatoes, jalapeños, and herbs in large containers, then grew the onions in my raised bed.  It’s fun to freeze jars of garden salsa to enjoy during the oh-so-dreary winter months.   D-to-the-licious. This has been my simple go-to recipe all summer:

6 large, super ripe garden tomatoes, seeded, chopped coarse
1 large white onion, peeled, chopped coarse
1 or 2 jalapeño peppers, roasted, seeded
2 large cloves of garlic, crushed (I tend to go big here)
1 teaspoon blue agave sweetner
zest +fresh juice of one lime
salt + pepper

My mother, a veteran burn nurse,  is not going to be pleased with the above photograph.  Sorry, mom!   I always roast my jalapeños over an open flame before chopping them up.  I like the deep flavor and the charred little bits.  My host mom in Mexico used to do this all the time, but she was a pro….so…attempt at your own risk. 🙂

Put everything in the food processor, reserving a handful of chopped tomatoes.  Process until smooth but chunky (does that make sense?!  You know what I mean)…

Then toss in the reserved tomatoes and pulse a few times, depending on how chunky you like it.

Grab a bag of Juanita’s chips (the best, most addictive chips on the planet) and chow down.


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Filed under appetizer, condiments, garden, mexican, tomatoes, vegetarian


Oh, summer…how I will miss you.  Farewell, fresh cut flowers from the garden. So long,  sweet strawberries.  Adios, vine ripened tomatoes….until we meet again. 

For many of us, summer felt like a quick blip on the radar screen.  Fortunately, I was able to harvest enough red tomatoes to make a few rounds of my favorite summer pasta.  Unfortunately, I have MANY green tomatoes still left on the vine (thank you, Food Day, for your recent section on green tomato recipes!!!).  

This garden tomato sauce has become a summer staple for us and we can’t seem to get enough of it.  We hope to enjoy a lot more of it next summer….

6 – 8 large tomatoes
4 – 6 medium garlic cloves
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flake
1/2 teaspoon sugar
black pepper

Prepare Tomatoes: 
Remove stems.  Cut an “X” through the skin on the bottom.  Submerge in pot of boiling water until skin begins to peel off (30-60 seconds).  Plunge into ice bath. Once cooled, remove remaining skin, cut tomato in half (along the equator) and remove seeds.  

Prepare Sauce: 
In a large skillet, heat olive oil until shimmering.  Add garlic and chili flake, saute for about 30 seconds, until fragrant.  Add roughly chopped, seeded tomatoes and one teaspoon salt.  Simmer for about 15 minutes or until liquid evaporates out and sauce thickens (I sometimes use a potato masher to crush the tomatoes).  Add 1/2 teaspoon sugar and black pepper.  

Toss with your favorite pasta and toppings.

Our “summer garden pasta” usually includes: linguine tossed with fresh basil, chopped kalamata olives, feta, and/or grana cheese.  It is also great with sauteed prawns.

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Filed under garden, pasta, tomatoes