Charlotte’s Sustainable Eats #5: Seasonal Salsa

Did you have an undeniably strong distaste for tomatoes as a child? Or, let me clarify. A strong distaste for a certain variety of tomatoes that are mealy, flavorless, out-of-season, foreign, and tough-skinned with a pale-red hue? Let’s call these “store variety” tomatoes. If you did, you wouldn’t be alone.

   

 

 

In an ideal world, these tomatoes would be so displeasing that no reasonable grocery shopper would purchase them. Instead, we would demand better tasting, better-looking produce that is more akin to its native origins of the heirloom. But unfortunately, we have grown accustomed to having taco salad or tomato caprese any day of the year, meaning that we have to purchase these less-than-desirable “store variety” tomatoes to quench our a-seasonal cravings.

What’s the solution to these deplorable tomato options? Eat seasonally and locally. Not only do these two strategies eliminate the need to purchase that “store variety,” but they also open the door to countless other tomato types, including fresh and juicy heirloom, Roma, beef, and more.  What’s more, the produce is often picked that day, in a nearby location (or at least within the state) and without any fertilizers or sprays (if you choose organic).

But eating seasonally just tastes better. When in season, tomatoes are juicier, fresher, and devoid of that mealy taste that makes you smack your lips in an attempt to glean any flavor from these unnatural crops. 

A few additional benefits: You will reduce your carbon footprint and may even find that you don’t require the special “tomato” knife that has been marketed to consumers as a strategy for cutting through that tough skin, while not squeezing out all the juice inside.

By now, I hope you are convinced that eating in season and locally is preferred. How can you achieve both? Farmers Markets. Simply put, what you find at a farmers market is in season and local by nature, which takes the guesswork out of your meal prep. 

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Since tomatoes are in season and plentiful right now (at least in California), I decided to make zero-waste, homemade salsa, perfect for a game day potluck or an afternoon picnic and a great way to avoid those pesky one-time-use plastic salsa containers.

 

Charlotte’s Sustainable Eats #5: Seasonal Salsa

 

What You'll Need

If you get it from the farmers market, you can avoid the pesky produce stickers. #skipabag

1 lime (juice)


   

1-2 cloves garlic (depending on spice tolerance)


Farmers market (and in season!). #reusablebag

6 roma tomatoes


Farmers market (and give the rubber band back to the farmer). #reusablebag

½ cup cilantro


Farmers market. #reusablebag but be sure to wash the bag afterwards. Jalapeño residue can be painful.

1-1.5 jalapeño (depending on spice tolerance)


Farmers market. #skipabag

¼ of a medium red onion


Bulk

1 tbs olive oil


Bulk

Salt to taste


Directions:

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  1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined, but still chunky.

 

 

Enjoy your Sustainable Eats!

P.S. Did you try to make these for yourself at home? Tell me how it went and any tips you have to share!

Charlotte Will