Finally! The salsa recipe emerges. You guys this salsa is legit. Authentic I guess would be the correct word. Our nanny Lucy is a superb cook (her mother owned a restaurant in Oaxaca and she cooked there as a young thing), so we are double double lucky because she not only adores Dashiell, and he her, but she also makes us treats from time to time while he is napping. It’s a very very good arrangement.
Her salsa in particular pretty much blew my mind. I requested a cooking lesson, and then had the genius idea to share it with the entire internet. Because doesn’t everyone want to know how to make the best salsa in the universe with only three ingredients? Yes they do.
I’m starting with salsa roja, because that’s the one I have more detailed pictures of, which I took as Lucy was making it. But I also have a killer salsa verde in iPhoto too and I will definitely post that one next week. I *might* even like the green version better.
Authentic salsa roja
4 tomatoes (vine ripe sauce tomatoes are perfect)
2 cloves garlic
2 red (ripe) jalapeños*
Special equipment: a molcajete. It’s kind of a big purchase, size and weight wise. But I truly think it’s worth it to be able to make salsa like this. AND you can use it for loads of other things too. I’ve heard. Lucy did make this with a cup and bowl the first time she made it at our house, but I can’t imagine how.
To start, bring the tomatoes and jalapeños to a boil in a pot of water. Cook until all are soft, and you can easily pierce both the tomato and chile with a fork. Remove from heat.
In the molcajete, crush the raw garlic cloves to a rough paste. Add the jalapeños (stems removed), and grind them up until both the garlic and chiles are bien molido.
Next add the tomatoes, one by one.
Remove the skin from each, then add one to the chile and garlic paste and mash it until it’s almost pureed.
Repeat with the remaining tomatoes.
Add a pinch or two of sea salt and taste. Depending on how salty you like things, you might need to add a bit more salt. Don’t skimp though, the salt really brings the flavors of the salsa together.
See? Easy breezy. It literally takes 10 minutes from start to finish. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to eat pico de gallo again. And, um, hello Christmas presents!
*(Note on jalapeños – they all actually turn red once they’ve been on the plant long enough. If you don’t have them growing out back, I think you can probably find red ones at the farmer’s market. Or you could substitute a different red chile. I fear that if you used green, the color of the salsa would be severely compromised.)