Sharpen your favorite knife and enjoy the sensory satisfaction of preparing this fresh-flavored salsa by hand. It’s a great way to preserve the texture of the tomatoes while practicing your knife skills. If you must use a food processor, pulse very carefully to avoid making a pitcher of delicious vegetable juice.

If you’re unsure what kind of heat your peppers are packing, start easy; you can always add more. You can season with ground cumin, or, for deeper flavor, try toasting whole seeds until fragrant—a matter of seconds—in a dry frying pan over a medium flame.

  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1 small red or white onion, or half a bunch of scallions, finely chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 5-7 ripe tomatoes
  • 1-3 jalapeno peppers (or habaneros it you like some heat), to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin or toasted cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped

Crush the garlic with the flat of your knife blade, then chop into paste with the salt. Scrape into a medium mixing bowl. Add the onion and lime juice and allow to stand a few minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Mix it all together. Taste for seasoning, and add more lime juice, salt, or heat, as needed.

Flavors will meld and mellow if made 12 – 24 hours ahead; but eat soon. This salsa should be bright and fresh!

Makes enough for a crowd.


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