Summer Veggie Salsa…a Great Dip Too!

Can you believe how many tomatoes and peppers a small plot of earth and few plants can produce? Wowza!

If your garden is like mine and those of my neighbors and friends, you are finding that those four little tomato plants you planted last spring are now producing on the vine way too many tomatoes for you to eat by yourself! Just how many banana peppers can one family consume, anyways? With a plethora of produce at our green thumbs (or farmer’s market) disposal, a salsa is an easy way to stay ahead, preserve, and split the bounty coming in by the bushels!

Share and share alike with this garden amalgamation of the freshest ingredients and flavors…trust this Farmer, you’ll want to keep a batch of this recipe on hand as a salad dressing, marinade, and relish for grilled chicken and pork. The versatility and flexibility of this dish is one of the best attributes, aside from the fantastic flavor. If you have peaches on hand, throw some in for a fruitier feel…if you have watermelon and mint a plenty, make a salsa from them! Master the basics of salsa - fresh fruits and veggies, delicious herbs, and a dash seasoning – and you’ll be dancing the salsa as well as eating it! Here is the basis of this Farmer’s Garden Salsa.

    • Tomatoes! Right off the vine! Green and red mixed together gives this recipe a super balance of texture and flavor. Try some heirloom varieties for amazing depth of flavor and visual delight. Each ingredient plays off the other, making this salsa a classic combo to be cherished for years to come.
    • Tomatoes and onions, tomatoes and basil, tomatoes and peppers…like any of those combos? Or all the above? Then you’ll love this salsa. Combine a fresh Vidalia, some banana peppers (or the pepper of your choice or your garden’s offering), and some fresh basil and the base of your salsa is set…now on to the zip and zap that makes this salsa really dance!
    • Rice wine vinegar…I love the touch of Asian flavor from this wonderful vinegar…red wine and apple cider work well too. This Farmer’s favorite, white balsamic, would be all too apropos as well. Add the vinegar to your salsa base and continue to season with some fresh cracked pepper, salt, and a pinch of cumin. The sweet, tangy, and smoky moves of the salsa dance are now becoming evident in your dish!
    • To highlight the freshness of the ingredients, the juice and zest of a lime and lemon add a citrus floral note and keep our salsa kickin’! Last but not least is garlic…minced fresh garlic…need I say more?
    • Once you’ve combined all your veggies, herbs, and seasonings, bring it to a slight boil, add a dash of sugar, and then chill or serve warm! I’m telling you, you and yours will adore this dish any way you choose to serve it. Jar or can it and share with friends and family and preserve some for a winter day when you need a reminder of the summer garden! From this Farmer’s garden and table, Ole!

Farmer’s Garden Salsa

  • 6 small fresh tomatoes or four medium…size depending on what you have
  • 1 Large Vidalia Onion
  • 2-4 Large banana peppers…I like more Banana peppers so I use 4
  • 4-5 peaches pitted, peeled, and chopped…add these for a fruity twist…delicious with or without!
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup of seasoned Nakano rice vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin…or to taste…more smoky flavor add more
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar….to taste…if peaches and tomatoes are sweet then less
  • 4 teaspoons of minced garlic
  • Garnish with julienned strips of basil or cilantro***

***for a sweeter salsa, use basil instead of cumin…for a more savory, use cumin and cilantro

Pulse and blend everything together except sugar.

Bring to a quick boil and add sugar…stir so sugar dissolves

Allow to cool and serve…how easy is that!? Enjoy!