Knowing that frost will soon encompass the landscape, I felt driven to gather the rest of the produce from the garden. My garden is small and most of it is devoted to one thing: salsa.
Years ago, my mother had purchased a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook that talked about two kinds of salsa. One was salsa that was cooked and pureed – almost like a rustic ketchup. The other was called salsa cruda because it wasn’t cooked and the diced vegetables in it could easily be identified. To me, that just seems honest or transparent, not crude. To each their own. Over time, I realized that I like salsa that is cooked but retains the chunkiness of salsa cruda. My salsa is different every year because everything that comes in from the garden is used. Maybe that is the way it should be.
It was starting to look like salsa might not be possible this year – the garlic hadn’t survived in the wet summer and my peppers are still woefully small:
Thankfully, before her grand adventure, Town brought me three of the jalapenos that she grew.
Sweet Baboo bought me a head of garlic, so it looked like salsa was back on the menu.
Off to the garden!
The apple tree dropped one last fruit and I couldn’t waste it. There were two tiny ground cherries (also known as physalis), a handful of spring onions and a few onions that couldn’t be braided.
Next came the tomatoes:
Finally, the tomatillos were plucked with care:
The vegetables got a thorough washing, then they were diced and deposited in a dutch oven.
What to do with the apple though? And the ground cherries? Most salsas have a little sugar in them. I figured this fruity combination would take its place. The ground cherries were diced and added to the pot. The apples would need more thought…hmm…maybe roast them? Yes, let’s! After marinating the diced apple in olive oil, copious sprinkles of freshly ground black pepper and the faintest touch of sea salt, a 375 degree oven had them nicely caramelized in less than 20 minutes:
Into the pot they went. More black pepper was added and NOW sounds like a good time to consult a cookbook. (Sweet Baboo is going to sigh in despair when he sees this. Why he wants me to start reading at the ingredients section, I’ll never know! 🙂 ) The Better Homes and Gardens book’s salsa recipe said it was best to bring the ingredients to a boil and then let them simmer for 10 minutes. Alright. Roughly 15 minutes later, the salsa was ready to package in sterilized jars.