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Pacific Northwest | August 1, 2004Pacific Northwest MagazineAugust 1, 2004seattletimes.com home
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CONTENTS
COVER STORY
PLANT LIFE
TASTE
ON FITNESS
NORTHWEST LIVING
NOW & THEN
PREVIOUS ISSUES OF PACIFIC NW


Salsa Fresca

Makes about 3 cups

Salsa made in big batches is usually composed of vegetables that have been smashed as well as chopped. What distinguishes a really fine salsa from an ordinary one is the care taken in how the vegetables are cut. Use your sharpest knife and make fine dice.

1 tablespoon crushed red chilies
2 tablespoons boiling water
1 teaspoon sea salt
Half a large, sweet onion such as a Walla Walla sweet
3 medium-sized, vine-ripened tomatoes, about 1 pound
1 large, sweet red pepper
1 medium-sized green chili pepper
1 small, ripe jalapeño pepper
Cilantro, optional
Lime juice, optional

1. Put the crushed red chilies in a bowl and cover them with the boiling water. Stir in the salt.

2. Peel the half onion and cut it, as neatly as you can, into tiny dice. Add the diced onion to the bowl with the soaked chili peppers. Cut the tomatoes vertically into even slices, then lay the slices on the cutting board and cut them into dice. Stir them into the salsa.

3. To dice the peppers, cut the firm outer flesh away from the cores and discard the cores, seeds and stems. Lay the flat outer pieces of the peppers on the cutting board and cut them into julienne strips, then cut across the strips to make tiny dice. Stir into the salsa.

4. Season the salsa if desired with chopped fresh cilantro or a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Serve with chips or use the salsa as a condiment with grilled fish or tacos.

Everyday Salsa

Makes about 3 cups

Even if you don't have the time or inclination to hand-cut fresh vegetables into perfect dice, homemade salsa is worth the effort.

1 tablespoon crushed red chilies
2 tablespoons boiling water
1 small onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 (2-ounce) can chopped, fire-roasted green chilies
1 (13 1/2-ounce) can chopped, fire-roasted tomatoes
Salt, to taste
Cilantro, optional
Lime juice, optional

1. Put the red chilies in a bowl and pour on the boiling water; allow the chilies to soak while you prepare the other ingredients.

2. Put the roughly chopped onions in a food processor and process, pulsing the motor on and off until the onions are finely chopped.

3. Add the green chilies and process until they are finely chopped. Then add the tomatoes and process until they, too, are chopped very fine.

4. Add the processed vegetables to the pre-soaked crushed red chilies, then add salt to taste. Serve with tortilla chips.

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