Despite the vast regional and cultural differences, one of the few things that people from the Middle East and Latin America can relate to, aside for the intense summer heat, is their love for spicy foods and dips. Salsa is one of them. Depending on where you from, every country and region has their own interpretation of salsa. Salsa literally translates as sauce in Spanish. In Hebrew, its called harif which means spicy. Salsa is comprised of tomatoes, hot peppers, green onions, and a bit of olive oil and white distilled vinegar. What separates the Middle Eastern version from the Latin/Central American version is that Middle Eastern salsa uses lemon juice and flat-leaf parsley whereas lime juice and cilantro is used in Latin American salsa. In addition or sometimes in lieu of tomatoes, sometimes they will use mango for a bot of added sweetness and tangy flavor. Salsa can be used as a dip or spread in breads, grains, vegetables, and hard-boiled eggs. This spicy tomato salsa makes a scrumptious condiment and marinade for fish as well, especially white fish and Nile Perch. While this spicy tomato salsa is impact with heat, making your very own homemade salsa allows you the advantage to moderate the level of spiciness to your liking. If you must, you can add a bit more lemon/lime juice to tame the spiciness or add more hot peppers for an extra-hot rendition. This fresh but spicy tomato salsa begs for some corn chips. I suppose I should be thankful that I don’t have a bag of corn chips on hand nor the motivation to buy them at the moment or I would be having a serious case of acid reflux. But since when has that ever stopped me? This fresh bu spicy tomato salsa is a crowd-pleasing dip for parties or lunches. I guarantee you that people will be screaming for more…………………..water or bread…………………or for a recipe perhaps :-). Don’t take m word for it. See for yourself. And lend me some corn chips while you’re at it!
For this recipe, you will need:
- 5-6 ripe tomatoes diced
- 2 green onions chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 2 hot chile peppers, Serrano or Jalapeno, finely chopped seeds and veins removed
- 1/3 cup of chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
- 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice or lime juice
- 1 tablespoon of distilled white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of cumin (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1/8 teaspoon of ground black pepper
Place all ingredients in a food processor. Process till a bit smooth. Salsa should be a bit chunky, at least I prefer it that way. Refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours to allow the flavors to blend. Serve with tortilla chips, pita chips, or chopped vegetables.
Yields 1 1/2 to 2 cups