Yet another salsa recipe.

The advantage to this is recipe is that it's dirt cheap, usually doesn't require a trip to the grocer's for odd ingredients (in my neighborhood, jalapenos ain't easy to find. Strange but true) and doesn't slide all over your plate the way the stuff from a jar does. It's also tasty as hell, but that's a given, right?

It also doesn't require any time in the fridge to set; in fact, it's best when eaten immediately - i've discovered that this stuff, like guacamole, should be as much about performance and color as possible and there's something special about freshly diced tomatoes the a refrigerator just murders. The spiciness is variable depending on how much pepper you put in it, and is a great way to make your dinners look professional with a minimal amount of work.

The key to this is the details. If you look at the other salsa recipes here (of which there are tons) you'll notice a whole bunch of similar ingredients, but it's the specifics that really bring out the flavor - the difference between red and white onions might not seem to matter that much, but believe me, it does.

Quantities of ingredients are a guess at best - if I wanted to measure things out I'd've become a chemist. Or, for that matter, a chemist.

Oh, and also - how many people this feeds depends on how you're using it. It'll plate eight as a garnish but you'll get less milage out of it with chips.


Stuff you'll need (with notes to follow):

Plum tomatoes (not grape tomatoes - I'm talking about the slightly oblong ones that're the legnth of your middle finger, give or take.) have more meat and less juice to them. It's best if they're just slightly under-ripe as well - these tomatoes are not quite as sweet as their cousins and you definitely want to avoid this tasting like a dessert. In the same vein, red onions are tarter than other varieties and fresh lime juice is less sweet than the bottled stuff. I've avoided adding cilantro here because I have a number of friends who think that that particular herb tastes like soap, and now that they've told me that I can't help but pick that aspect of its flavor out of anything it's in (and now neither can you. Sorry.) If you want a more herbal, gardeny flavor, substitute a quarter of the green onion for fresh parsley.

I've also avoided fresh garlic because, raw as this dish is, raw garlic is overpowering as hell. I love the stuff, I really do, but it conquers any other flavors you try to mix it with and we're going shooting for harmony, here.

As far as preparation goes, there's really not that much to it - take all the ingredients, chop them finely and mix them in a nice, big bowl. You ideally want the tomato to stay in rather large chunks and the onion to be chopped as finely as you can make it by hand. It's also a nice touch to grind the pepper over the salsa at the table just before serving, but that's more showmanship than anything else. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

And before I forget, a note on the garlic salt - that stuff sticks to anything it touches, so you want to shake it on as you're mixing to keep it as consistently spiced as possible. The rest of it can pretty much be tossed in however you'd like. It's also important to not mix it up too much - the more you mix, the more pulverized the tomatoes are going to get and you'd like them to retain some of their firmness.