balsamic tomato salsa

balsamic tomato salsa

Stewed tomatoes.  I was cleaning out my pantry, and came across a can that I must have mistakenly bought.  I just stared at it.  Trying not to be wasteful, I stood there thinking of how I could use it but something in my genetic make up won’t allow it.  My mother, however, (insert the saying “bless her heart” HERE), seemed to think that they went with every skillet dinner we had growing up.  I just couldn’t get past the weirdly shaped, skinless, lifeless chunks.  They looked like someone beat the life out of them and then canned them up because no one else wanted them.  I love tomatoes any other way – sliced, diced, raw, sauced – oh wait, that’s me!  So anyway, they often got picked around at dinner.  Now, as an adult, I am laughing at myself because I still can’t open a can of stewed tomatoes.  I just can’t.  But who needs them?  Like I said, there are so many ways to eat tomatoes.  This recipe can go a few ways.  It can be a jalapeño type salsa made with lime juice or red wine vinegar, or turn it into a salad with feta and orzo.  But the number one tip is to us the best ingredients you can since everything is fresh.  I also  prefer to use grape tomatoes since they hold their shape better when mixing everything together, but use diced if you prefer.  This one was made to go with a swordfish dinner we were having.  It was so good, that I had to break it out again from the fridge a few days later, and have some as an appetizer.  Love you mom!

swordfish and tomato salsa

mixed salsa

balsamic tomato salsa

1/2  pint of organic red grape tomatoes, quartered
1/2  pint of organic golden grape tomatoes, quartered
1/2  pint of kalamata olives, sliced (or any combination of olives)
1/2  English cucumber, peeled and diced
6  scallions, sliced
2  Fresno chilis, sliced
10  basil leaves, julienned
3  TB Aged balsamic vinegar (not your run of the mill balsamic vinegar)
1  TB extra virgin olive oil
pinch crushed red pepper
kosher salt and ground black pepper

yellow grape tomatoes

diced cucumber

fresno chilis


get started on the salsa:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  Add the pinch of crushed red pepper.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Mix gently.  Serve at room temperature or chilled.

basil leaves



tomatillo relish


I have a tomatillo salsa recipe that I use often that calls for canned tomatillos.  It is super fast and easy to make, and putting it out instead of a traditional red salsa is refreshing.  I knew that if I boiled them or oven roasted them, I would get the salsa that the canned tomatillos produce.  But because of that recipe, I wanted to try to grow the little suckers this year myself, and work with fresh tomatillos.  I tell you that these grew into sprawling plants, and not ‘compact bushes’ as the seed packet claimed. My plants yielded over 80 little cuties… a lot of tomatillos for a small garden.  It was tomatillo takeover!  I chose to grow two plants and I am glad I did.  Who knew that apparently they needed each other to cross-pollinate. (rookie).  Also, whether you grow them yourself or purchase fresh tomatillos, store them on your counter and don’t put them in the fridge.  You will ruin them.
It was fun using fresh tomatillos this time.  Since they aren’t broken down by heat it is more of a relish in my opinion.  It goes well with everything!  I topped my fish tacos in place of a slaw, mixed it in my chicken salad for extra flavor, and added them to my turkey burgers.   I love having a condiment like that in my fridge to just throw on your meal.  You can opt to jazz it up with lime and loosen it with more water to make it more of a salsa.  Enjoy!

relish ingredients

fresh tomatillo relish

20  raw tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed to remove sticky film
1-2  jalapeno pepper depending on heat preference, chopped
1/4  cup red onion, chopped
1  garlic clove, chopped
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2  tsp. sugar
few pinches of kosher salt

get started on relish:

add all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until desired consistency.  Store relish in an airtight container in your fridge.

fresh tomatillo relish