Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Midweek Food Musings: Salsa--Simple/Sumptuous!

When I planned my menu for a catering event last week, I had my chicken and meat (both Peruvian-style marinated, here ), and my fish (Salmon Ceviche, here on my Latin Twist blog), but I felt that two things were missing: something with more color, and vegetables. I had to think quickly, after all, I had finished most of my shopping and prep for the event. The solution--as it turns out--was right outside my door: Tomato and Basil-Cilantro Salsa.

(Well, okay, really the salsa it wasn't EXACTLY outside my door, but the inspiration was there.)
As I've mentioned, my husband the wonderful gardener has cultivated a lovely crop of cherry tomatoes and basil. I found some other gorgeous ones (couldn't use just ours!) at the Farmers' Market. Also, we're lucky to have a plethora of chips available (homemade--here in New Rochelle--and I have been buying quinoa and black bean tortilla chips from Trader Joe's). Here--as you'll see--the chips, and the salsa, made a beautiful display. And this was a big hit at the cocktail party!

Fresh Tomato, Basil and Cilantro Salsa

Serves approximately 15

2 pounds of grape and/or cherry tomatoes
White balsamic vinegar
Olive oil (excellent quality)
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 limes
8 to 10 leaves fresh basil, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Slice half the grape tomatoes in quarters. Using a food processor or blender, gently pulse--just a bit--the other half (this is so that you have a half-chunky, half more-liquidy base but be careful not to make it all into a purée...unless that's what you want!). Add about 1/4 cup of white balsamic vinegar, and 1/2 cup of olive oil (this time I used the Spanish organic, extra virgin from Trader Joe's). Mix to combine. Add salt and pepper, and the juice of two limes. Stir and taste and adjust. Cover the salsa and refrigerate for at least an hour, and even overnight. Before serving, bring the salsa to room temperature, and add fresh basil and cilantro.

Salmon Ceviche
Peruvian Marinated Chicken 

With my beautiful assistant, Chef Amy (caterer extraordinaire--who's also my sister-in-law!)

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