Tomatoes are something I grew to love a little later in life. I blame it one of my three older sisters, all of whom I adore now, but with whom I previously had the normal sibling challenges that one might expect in a family of six kids. She told me that any seeds I ate (watermelon, tomato and the accidental apple pip from biting too close to the core) would grow in my stomach. When young me disputed her assertion, saying seeds needed dirt to sprout in, she deftly reminded me of the dozens of carrots I pulled from our large vegetable patch each year and consumed on the spot, after only a quick wipe on the grass. Her teasing wrecked tomatoes and watermelons for me for at least a dozen years, and I became a very careful apple nibbler. When I finally decided to give tomatoes another chance, I was quickly entranced by how the taste of a perfectly-ripe, sun-warmed, just-picked tomato is one of the most perfect flavours ever. At the same time, I was also overcome with regret for the number of years I had missed out on this taste sensation. As a result, I am doing my best to make up for lost time by eating as many tomatoes as possible. This quick salsa showcases raw, ripe tomatoes in a very flavourful way. Heirloom tomatoes are fabulous for this as they come in a wide variety of colours.
- 1.5 cups (375 mL) diced tomatoes
- ½ cup (125 mL) diced English cucumber
- ¼ cup (62 mL) minced sweet onion
- ½ avocado, peeled and diced *
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 3 tablespoons (45 mL) freshly-squeezed lime juice
- ½ teaspoon (2.5 mL) honey
- Several dashes of hot sauce such as Camille Desjardins’ Peach Vidalia, to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
* Select an avocado that is ripe but still firm; you want diced pieces, not mushy bits, in your salsa
- In a bowl, combine tomatoes, cucumber, onion, avocado, cilantro, lime juice, honey, hot sauce, and a little salt and pepper.
- Stir mixture gently.
- Cover and let sit for at least 30 minutes so flavours can blend. Refrigerate if you are not eating this within the hour.
- Taste and adjust seasonings (honey, hot sauce, salt, pepper) to suit your preferences. Resist the temptation to oversalt, especially if you are planning to serve with tortilla chips.
- Best if eaten within 8 hours although it can be refrigerated and served up to 24 hours later.
Makes approximately 3 cups (750 mL) of salsa.