Tomato Salsa for a Festive Party

Tomato Salsa (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Tomato Salsa (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Festive Party Tomato Salsa (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

In the 1990s, my computer career took me to a job in Washington, DC. It was a building in a not-so-nice area of the city, and sometimes it was dicey to get to and from work due to the local crime in that area. But once I was inside that building, it was wonderful.

My assignment at that building started on Dec. 1 that year. I walked into a place full of holiday parties that were planned across several weeks. Wow, what a great job this is going to be, I thought! Parties all the time! And, to boot, most of my newly-found team members liked to cook. The biggest hit at the holiday parties was “Richard’s Salsa.” Richard’s Salsa would always disappear very quickly.

Richard and his wife worked for a small company that was part of our team. The two of them would bring in all sorts of goodies, and would eagerly provide their recipes when asked. This easy healthy salsa is one of the super easiest appetizers I’ve ever made from scratch! Chop it all in the food processor or a blender with minimal clean-up! This salsa is also suitable for canning (see Variations).

Although the holiday parties stopped after the first of the New Year, we continued to enjoy homemade goodies at the office throughout the year.

Serve this salsa with a cut-veggie platter or crispy tortilla chips for dipping. My favorite tortilla chips are from XOCHiTL. Available at Whole Foods Markets and other organic grocery and specialty stores in salted or unsalted versions, these chips are thin and crispy and fantastic.

XOCHiTL Tortilla Chips - the best! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
XOCHiTL Tortilla Chips – the best! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

If you have another tortilla chip brand that you prefer, or if you make your own chips, this salsa will certainly compliment your favorites!

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From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….

Richard’s Party Salsa

(adapted from Richard’s original recipe)

Ingredients:

2 cans (28 oz. each) whole Italian plum tomatoes
1 large green bell pepper
4 jalapeno peppers, seeded or not, depending on how much heat you want
1/4 c (approx.) whole dried chili peppers, crushed, or to taste
1/2 bunch fresh Italian parsley (leaves only)
1 c fresh cilantro leaves, packed, or 1 heaping tablespoon dried cilantro
1 medium onion to cook
1 medium onion, raw
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 T white or apple cider vinegar
1 t sugar

Method:

Coarsley chop tomatoes using food processor or blender. Do not puree. Put tomatoes in a stockpot.

Finely chop the green bell pepper, one medium onion, jalapeno peppers, red chile peppers in the food processor or blender. Be careful not to touch the peppers with your bare hands. Use latex or other protective gloves. You can add some crushed red peppers, to taste.

Add vinegar, sugar, salt/pepper, cilantro, chopped parsley and cook over medium heat, uncovered, for about one hour, stirring occasionally. Remove salsa from heat and let cool.

Finely chop the remaining onion and add to the salsa.

Serve with your favorite tortilla chips and enjoy!

The salsa will keep for about a week in the refrigerator, although your family will likely devour it before the week is up….

Variations: Whether or not you add the jalapeno’s seeds, and how much crushed red pepper you use will determine the “heat content” of the salsa. For a smoky flavor, add a tablespoon or two of the sauce from a can of Adobo chiles (smoked jalapenos). And you can make a large batch, follow basic canning instructions, and preserve this salsa for other occasions.

Salsa!  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Salsa! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

www.afoodloversdelight.com (Copyright Adroit Ideals 2012)

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