Whenever I'm feeling a little down, I make this salsa because it reminds me of my trips to this great youth hostel in Ensenada that I visit every now and then. I used to think my little recipe for salsa was very rustic and chic. I probably thought this because I watch way too many fusion cooking shows. I made it a few times for Maria, the owner of the hostel, and she told me once: "I like your salsa because it's so simple and rough. Even though it's ugly, it's tasty. It's like the kind of salsa you would made if you were camping and didn't have proper kitchen tools." Ego deflated.


4 Medium-sized fresh tomatoes. They should be ripe, but not overly so.
1/2 of a large white onion.
2 cloves of garlic
5 Mexican limes. Mexican limes are very small, and taste a bit different from regular limes. If you can't find them, substitute 2 regular limes.
2 Serrano chiles
A handful of cilantro
3 hearty pinches of course salt

Wash the tomatoes and cilantro. The best way to wash cilantro is to grab a bunch by the stems, and shake it vigorously in a bowl of cold water. Then shake out as much water as you can.
Using the blade of a chef's knife, crush the cloves of garlic to remove the papery skin. This also makes it easier to chop. Finely chop the garlic. Dice the onion, making sure that the pieces aren't too big. Finely chop the chiles. Try not to touch them too much, as even after multiple hand-washings, it will still sting if you touch your eyes (or any other sensitive area). Roughly chop the tomatoes into medium sized chunks.
With a Mexican mortar and pestle, (if you don't have one, you can use a regular mortar and pestle and if you don't have one of those, I suppose you can use any old round bowl and a potato masher), grind the salt and garlic into a rough paste. Next, add the onions and cilantro to the mortar. Give the mixture a few good poundings, as this releases the oils in the cilantro. The smell by now should be making your mouth water. Scrape the sides of the mortar and stir with a spoon. Next, using a lime squeezer, squeeze all of the lime juice into the mixture. Add the chopped tomatoes and chiles. Smash it all with the pestle, stir.

The way I usually eat this is with grilled fish that I picked up fresh at the fish market earlier. Just grill the fish on a barbecue, seasoning with more lime juice and some cracked pepper. Spoon the salsa over the fish. It's a really refreshing dinner. This stuff makes almost anything delicious. Enjoy!

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