I got the craving sometime between scrubbing a crusty brown substance out of the fridge and sweeping years worth of food debris from behind the stove—peach salsa. Mmmmmmm.
Once the kitchen was pretty sparkly and fresh smelling, I headed off on a few errands, the first of which was to stop by Top Banana, a great little produce stand in Ballard. Unlike my trips to the grocery store, I rarely shop Top Banana with a list. I just walk in and let the colors and smells guide the menu.
Half a dozen plump tomatoes, a Walla Walla onion, a bulb of garlic, four fuzzy peaches, a red pepper, a jalepeño, a bunch of cilantro, a lemon and a couple limes.
Back at the Village, I diced the onion, four tomatoes and four peaches, then minced a few cloves of garlic, the jalepeño and cilantro. Put it all in a big green bowl, add a couple tablespoons of olive oil, the juice from two limes, and half of one lemon, a good amount of fresh ground pepper, a little less salt, stir and—the whole house smells fresh. Ah, and then the red pepper. I take a third of it, braze it lightly with oil and flame roast it on the stove top. Then that’s diced and tossed in adding a subtle smoky flavor.
I take a small spoonful to make sure the flavors are just right and once I’ve approved the batch, chips are served.
There are a couple of great things about fresh salsa: first, it gets better and better over a few days, while every element absorbs the flavor of a neighboring ingredient. Secondly, there is a good deal of extra liquid which goes a long way to make leftover rice new.
Salsa on crackers, in an omelet, on Guatemalan style tacos, on salmon, in a fresh cold pasta, as bruschetta, on burgers and grilled cheese sandwiches, on salad, with plain rice, and the list goes on.
This salsa loves substitutions too. Use mango or pineapple in place of the peaches. Add some orange flesh or grapefruit. Roast a poblano pepper in place of the standard red pepper.
Then, put it on everything.