Discount Salsa Del Sol
Growing up, there were certain dinners which were always kind of a treat night. We didn’t hear too much about them in advance, but I would smell seasoned ground beef cooking away on the stove and hoof it downstairs yelling, “IS IT TACO NIGHT? IS IT?! WELL C’MON, IS IT?!” Oh boy, did I ever like taco night. Obviously I still do, if you’ve been looking at the previous couple of posts.
Now I might have mentioned at some point that my ethnic background is a bit of a mixed bag. My Dad used to do his own type of fusion cooking, often without meaning to. But hey, that’s what cooking is! You take a recipe and adjust it to your own likes and dislikes, tweaking flavours until they please your individual palate. That is how it came to be that I also find myself putting cinnamon in my spaghetti sauce, and chopped up parsley and onion into home made burgers.
Anyway, I do have a point – I promise! At taco night, we would have seasoned ground beef in Old El Paso shells followed by the traditional toppings such as shredded lettuce, cheese, tomato, salsa, sour cream, green onions, and…..green olives. Yup, you read that right. I LOVE slice up cheapo grocery store green olives on my tacos. That might be why when I first tried Salsa Del Sol it was love at first bite. Salsa Del Sol is like a Mediterranean twist on Salsa Fresca. There are many variations, such as using charred roasted onions, anchovies, or omitting the hot peppers and adding sugar instead. The basic difference though is that basil is often used in lieu of cilantro, and we have the addition of briny olives and/or capers…..and I love, love, love both olives and capers.
“So,” you ask, “Why are the Choosy Beggars calling this DISCOUNT Salsa Del Sol?” Ah, well, that’s because we’re poor so we skim on some of the more expensive ingredients. I don’t feel the need to buy a wee bag of shallots for $3.99 (also: I hate peeling shallots. Let it be known), and when a jar of capers costs what it does, and the recipe calls for the better part of a jar, and then there are all of the other ingredients….well, I just don’t think that a simple and very perishable condiment should cost $15 to make. So there we have it – out with the shallots and in with sweet onion. The capers are drastically reduced and we amp up the olives a bit. Finally, we’re serving this with fajitas and not with fish, so to keep the tastes consistent we use half basil and half cilantro, and lime juice instead of whatever fancy vinegar some of the other recipes out there called for.
Discount Salsa Del Sol
- 1/4 large sweet onion, such as Vidalia
- 2 and 1/2 cups seeded diced tomatoes (about 4-5 medium tomatoes)
- 1/2 green pepper
- 3 small jalapeno or 2 large
- 12 large green olives
- 1 tbsp capers
- 2 limes
- 1 small handful basil
- 1 small handful cilantro
Finely chop the onion. Everything should be in very small, harmonious pieces. There are no big chunks of onion allowed, so run the knife over it in a couple of other directions just to be sure.
Ooh, fresh juicy vine ripened tomatoes! Cut out the core and quarter them. Now, I’m not trying to pull a fast one on you, I promise. The picture has 3 tomatoes in it, but I’m saying 2.5 cups, or 4-5 medium tomatoes. How can that be? do you see the small bowl under the jalapenos? That’s full of cherry tomatoes. We still have SO MANY cherry tomatoes, and they have to be used for something. Anyway, I made up the last cup or so of tomato using these.
Seed the tomato and give it a fine dice. ‘Seeding’ the tomato basically means getting rid of all the pulp and juice to dry them out a bit. The salsa will have a lot of liquid anyway, and even more so as the vegetables settle into one another and relax, letting the juices flow. If you do them seeds and all you will end up with Salsa Del Soup.
Seed and devein the jalapeno, and mince it as finely as possible. If you like it spicier, use 3 large jalapeno. If you’re a mild child, cut this down to 1 or 2. I also forgot to take a picture of the green peppers, but you should finely dice the green pepper and throw it in here as well.
Finely chop the green olives. 1 suggest 12 large green olives, but if all that you have is a jar of pimiento stuffed manzanilla olives I actually won’t stop you from using them in this case. You would need roughly double the number of olives because of the size difference.
Finely mince the basil and cilantro – at the same time is fine. This is also the last time that I will say ‘finely’ in this recipe.
Squeeze in the juice of 2 limes.
Throw in your handful of capers, and give it a good stir. It likely will not need any additional salt or pepper, but give it a taste and see. If you think it needs more, I won’t stop you!
Refrigerate this as soon as it is done, and try to make it as soon as possible before it will be consumed so that everything is fresh and crunchy. This will keep in the fridge for a few days (ahem, Mike and I just ate the last of it yesterday and we made it on Saturday) but the texture will be softer and the longer you leave it the more liquid will accumulate.
Discount Salsa Del Sol is a great topping for fish or alongside barbecued chicken. It works great with fajitas and tacos, and it is definitely a friend to the tortilla chip – as evidenced by Ms. Greedy Guts, below. Pay no attention to the double chin, that’s just the…uh….the lighting. Bad lighting….yeah….