Southern-fried vintage jazz songwriter– music for a lazy afternoon on the porch.
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Greetings from Austin, Texas, where we have resisted the pull of our impotent air conditioning system, opting for fans and ventilation instead. It is 96 degrees and 100% humid. Tomatoes, basil, cucumbers and eggplants grow almost faster than we can eat them... evening swims have become part of the daily routine, and I can't say I mind... fish are jumping and the cotton is high...
Since my childhood, I have known that a homegrown tomato has ten times the flavor and tomato-y goodness of a store bought tomato. In fact, we often call the over-sized, flawless but flavorless vegetables from the grocery store gub'ment vegetables. As in, "Mmmm, that's pretty good for gub'ment broccoli... not as good as from the garden, but pretty good, yes sir."
Not until a few weeks ago had I ever had a homegrown tomatillo. Mysterious, magical, intensely flavorful... Not even the same fruit as the gub'ment version.
This recipe will work with gub'ment ingredients, but I recommend planning your garden around salsa next year. It is worth it. Plant the purple tomatillos, they are prolific and lovely.
Put all of this in a glass bowl and stir:
• 5-8 little homegrown tomatillos (1/3-1/2 cup), diced in small, 1/4 inch cubes
• two handfuls (3/4 cup) of sungold or other flavorful tomatoes, diced in small, 1/4 inch cubes
• 1-2 jalapeño peppers, de-seeded and chopped finely
• 1/4 cup yellow onion, diced very finely
• 1 clove garlic, crushed
• 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (fresh, always fresh!)
• 1/4-1/2 teaspoon fresh oregano, or a small pinch of dried oregano
• 1/8-1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
• the juice of 3-5 key limes, or 2-3 regular limes, depending on your love of the tangy
• Start with 1 teaspoon of salt. and gradually increase to taste. You will need to add more than you think is a good idea....it's always surprising how much it takes...
If you are making this with homegrown tomatillos, resist the urge to increase the garlic or to use really hot peppers. Too much of these things will run over the mysterious taste of the tomatillos.
Lately, we have been eating this over rice and eggs for breakfast. I dump the whole bowl of salsa on there and let the lime juice soak into the rice. mmm