Last winter Kris and Jenn bought me and Jeremy each a copy of the Cook’s Illustrated cookbook, The Best Recipe. We haven’t tried many recipes from the book yet, but we’re beginning to believe we should.

Kris recently tried the book’s recipe for fresh salsa. It’s fantastic. Subtle, flavorful, delicious.

Here’s the recipe from the book, followed by our modifications:

Fresh Red Table Salsa

  • 3 large very ripe tomatoes (~2#), cored and diced small
  • 1/2 cup tomato juice
  • 1 small jalapeno or other fresh chile, minced (remove seeds for mild salsa)
  • 1 medium red onion, diced small
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1/2 cup juice from 4 medium limes
  • salt to taste

Blend every thing together in blender or food processor. Put the salsa in the fridge for 8+ hours (the longer the better). Enjoy!

Things we have learned with this recipe:

  • Be careful with the lime juice. Too much lime juice spoils the flavor.
  • If, like me, you’re not a fan of cilantro, be sure the leaves are chopped fine. You may want to reduce the cilantro to just 1/4 cup.
  • For optimum flavor, follow J.D.’s Rule of Garlic: “Always add five times the amount of garlic called for by the recipe.” In this case, use five cloves of garlic instead of one clove. You’ll thank me for it later.
  • To vary the heat of the salsa, alter the number of chiles (in particular, the quantity of seeds from the chiles). Kris doesn’t like hot salsa, so we don’t use any chile seeds. It tastes fantastic even without them.

Try this salsa. You’ll be glad you did.

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