August is always a blur for me, even though it may be my favorite month–good weather, vacations, my garden at the peak of production . . . why do the good times go so quickly? Don’t answer that.
Of all my garden goodies, I think cherry tomatoes must be my favorite. They are so sweet and flavorful, right off the bush, there is always a huge bounty of them, and they need almost no attention or coddling. If I could sing, or play an instrument, or write music, I think I would write an ode to the cherry tomato. Let’s all count ourselves lucky that I’m not musically inclined.
Now the tomatillo, that is another creature entirely. Do you know the tomatillo? The slightly crisper textured, vaguely citrusey cousin of the tomato, so often used in Mexican cooking? It’s the funny looking thing in the brown husk that you’ll find in most grocery stores these days. It’s no cherry tomato, for sure–but I love it in it’s own right. I’ve been growing tomatillos in my garden for a few years now, with mixed success. This year is a year of bounty, the early heat caused my two little seedlings to explode upward, outward, and everywhere, almost rivaling the size of the tomato plants.
Usually you see green tomatillos, however, this year I planted a purple variety–in part because that was all I could find. But aren’t they gorgeous? I may not go back to green! The taste is essentially the same, so it’s really all about big, beautiful color.
Because, as I mentioned in my last post, I am a rather lazy cook, I threw this salsa together straight from the garden into the food processor, with barely a bit of prep in between. Most tomatillo recipes call for them to be smoked or sauteed a bit before going into a salsa or green sauce, and you can certainly do that if you like. Me? I’m lazy. And hungry. Where’d those tortilla chips go . . . .
OH! And I swear I will be leaving all this healthy, garden fresh stuff behind for a bit and getting back to my sugar-filled roots, really really soon!
Cherry Tomato and Tomatillo Salsa
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1 pint tomatillos, husked and rinsed
- 1/2 medium white onion, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 1 medium jalapeno or other hot pepper
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 1/4 cup cilantro
- garlic powder
Place the cherry tomatos, tomatillos, onion, and lime juice in a food processor. Cut off the stem end of the hot pepper and slice the pepper in half lengthwise. Taste a small piece of the pepper to determine it’s heat. If it’s hot to your taste, start by adding one half of the pepper, without seeds. If it’s is mild to your taste, add the whole pepper, including seeds. Whirl the pepper with everything in the food processor until blended to your preferred level of chunky or smoothness. Add more pepper for more heat, a dash or two of garlic powder for flavor, and a pinch of kosher salt. Yum!
This salsa is best when eaten on the same day it is made.