Whether I'm buying local tomatoes from the Farmers' Market or picking fresh tomatoes from my organic home garden, I always seem to have a lot of ripe tomatoes on hand during the summer and early fall. Fresh salsa is simple to make, and a perfect way to showcase almost any variety of tomato, especially while they are in season locally. This salsa is delicious served on its own, or with other spreads and dips. It is also great with grilled veggies, or try it as a topping on your next rice bowl.
Tomatoes are an awesome superfood. They are jam-packed with potassium and vitamin C which makes them helpful in treating cardiovascular disease. They also contain carotenoids including lycopene which has been shown to protect against cancer and guard the skin and eyes from sun damage. The carotenoids found in tomatoes are fat soluble, which means that they need to be eaten with some fat in order for the nutrients in the tomatoes to be properly absorbed.* A great source of plant-based, healthy fat that would pair perfectly this salsa is avocado (think salsa, guac and nachos). Raw nuts, seeds and extra virgin olive oil are also sources of healthy fat and make great toppings for a salad which would go nicely with this salsa.
I love growing tomatoes in my little organic veggie garden and this growing season was no exception! This was the first year where I challenged myself to start the majority of the plants in my garden from seeds. It was fascinating to watch the tiny seeds that I planted grow into huge, thriving, life-giving plants. I successfully grew a variety of tomatoes including Tigerella, black cherry and red cherry tomatoes. I also grew baby lettuces, arugula, peppers, basil, sage, cilantro, dill and garlic chives - all organic and grown at home from seeds! It simply does not get more local than that!
I found that the lettuce mix and arugula were both super simple to grow and would be great if you're just starting out your home garden. I also used a vegan liquid kelp fertilizer to help my plants along in the growing process.
(makes about 4 cups of salsa)
3 cups of Tomatoes, chopped
1 cup red or green onion, diced
Juice of 2 limes
Fresh chopped Cilantro, to taste
Fresh finely chopped hot pepper, or hot sauce to taste**
Pink Himalayan salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
(use organic ingredients)
1. Mix chopped tomatoes and onions in a large mixing bowl.
2. Dress with the juice of 2 limes and your favourite hot sauce to taste. Mix to combine evenly.
3. Add fresh cilantro, using as much as you would like. I personally love cilantro so I usually add about 1/3 of a cup. If you are not a fan of cilantro try adding another mild fresh herb like parsley.
4. Season with Himalayan salt & freshly ground pepper to taste and you’ve got fresh salsa.
**Note: If you’d like to make this salsa completely raw use finely chopped hot pepper in place of the hot sauce.
I recently wrote about my favourite Toronto Farmers' Market, the Evergreen Brick Works Market and included recommendations for all of my favourite vendors. You can check out the article here. You'll find an abundance of fresh, local and organic tomatoes at the Brick Works Market during this time of year!
*Savona, Natalie. Wonderfoods: The Best Nutrition and Recipes for Optimum Health. London: Quadrille Limited, 2006. Print.