Another recipe for a tomato glut. Foolishly, I planted out five Tumbler tomato plants earlier in the year, a little worried that five would be insufficient for the family’s tomato needs. It appears, however, that Tumbler is a prolific plant – kilos and kilos of tomatoes are coming ripe all at once.
The sweet and flavourful little tomatoes are excellent in this cooked salsa, a version of a salsa served at the Border Grill in Las Vegas and Santa Monica. The Border Grill (and its sister restaurant, Ciudad, also in LA) is owned and run by Mary-Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, who have a TV show in America called Too Hot Tamales. I’ve never seen it, but whenever we’re in Vegas or LA, Dr Weasel and I make a point of stuffing ourselves silly at one of their restaurants, where the Mexican food is about as good as it gets.
The Border Grill serves three salsas with chips before the meal – something like this one, a zingy green tomatillo salsa (anybody know where I can get young tomatillo plants in the UK next year?) and a raw pico de gallo. It’s hard not to say ‘Yes please!’ to the nice server when he offers to get you more salsa and another bowl of chips. Don’t. You won’t have any room left for the rest of the meal.
This salsa keeps for five days in the fridge, so if you have a lot of tomatoes make plenty. Don’t worry about the large amount of garlic; cooking it like this makes it very mellow and removes any harshness. You’ll find yourself eating this salsa on baked potatoes, with tortilla chips, with crudites…I defy you to make it last five days. You’ll need:
2 lb raw tomatoes, freshly picked if possible
1 large onion, sliced roughly
1 bulb of garlic, peeled
3 tablespoons chipotles in adobo (you can buy these chillis in Sainsbury’s in the UK – use less for a less fierce salsa)
1 small handful fresh oregano (or a teaspoon dried)
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper
If your tomatoes, like mine, are cherry-sized, you don’t need to chop them. If you have large ones, quarter them and remove the pithy cores.
Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring slowly to a simmer with the lid off, and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Set aside to cool. Add the oregano and blitz in a food processor or liquidiser, taste for seasoning and add more salt if necessary.