Post-Consumer Pantry

Salsa time: Chop up some tomatoes, jalapenos and onions for a homemade version of this pantry staple. Rich Orris

Our garden is exploding. We have a pile of tomatoes balanced precariously on the counter and more than a peck of jalapeño peppers in the fridge. Now that the cilantro is overwhelming the rest of the herb garden, it's time to find a way to use our bounty.

An obvious solution is salsa. Some quick knife work can turn a heap of tomatoes and jalapeños into a chunky, spicy condiment that's good on everything from eggs to tacos. But what's the advantage of making your own?

A stroll through the chip aisle is enough to make a Southerner exclaim, “This stuff's made in New York City?" ‘80s commercials not withstanding, now is the perfect time make a homemade salsa that defies regional classifications.

Just chop up some tomatoes, jalapeños, garlic, onion, cilantro and anything else you'd like to add. If your tomatoes made it through this rainy summer, throw them in the mix. If not, pick out some romas or heirlooms at a local tailgate market.

For smoother salsa, blend half of each ingredient in a food processor or blender. We prefer a chunkier salsa (all the better to dip the ubiquitous chip), but any consistency is tasty.

Remember to let the salsa sit in the fridge for a day or two before serving, since the flavors need some time to meld together. Then get ready to impress your friends with a homemade staple that takes mere minutes to prepare.

6 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 red or yellow onion (around 1/2 cup), diced
1-2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 handful of cilantro (around 1/2 cup), chopped
1 tbsp. white vinegar
1 tbsp. lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine ingredients in bowl and let sit overnight refrigerated. For a smoother salsa, puree half of the ingredients in blender or food processor before combining.

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