|Can you handle the heat?|
Among the primary ingredients of most salsas are onions and capsicums, or chili peppers. In most of the world, they are referred to simply as a "chilli", but we can thank Christopher Columbus for the confusion in terms. It seems that when he first encountered the fruit (and yes, it's considered a fruit, more on that in a bit), their spiciness reminded him of black pepper, and he thus called them chilli peppers (though they aren't related to black pepper spice at all).
Peppers have varying degrees of capsaicin in them, with peppers like ghost and habanero peppers are the hottest, while pepperoncini and banana peppers are a tangy spicy-sweet. The hotter peppers can be dangerous to work with in the kitchen, because capsaicin is difficult to remove. From one of my early cooking experiments working with a habanero to make chili, and the subsequent days of pain my hands were in, I can tell you that wearing a pair of thin kitchen gloves is worthwhile. Even the equipment you work with, such as knives and cutting boards, should be thoroughly washed in hot, soapy water.
|The star player|
15-16 tomatoes (medium, on the vine)
3 Anaheim peppers
3 Jalapeno peppers
1 large onion
2 bulbs garlic
2 tbs fresh cilantro
Chop the onion to a medium dice and place in a small bowl. Juice the limes, and pour the juice over the onions. Set aside to "cook" - the acidity in lime (or lemon) juice breaks down the sharpness of raw onions, "cooking" them.
|Limes - one of my favorite fruits!|
|I prefer a very fine mince for this particular salsa, but there may be times you want large chunks|
Dice the tomatoes to desired size/chunkiness. Seed and dice both peppers, discarding seeds (the largest concentration of capsaicin is located in the fleshy part that surrounds the seeds - keep that in mind when working with the peppers). Finely chop the cilantro.
In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, peppers, and garlic.
|It all comes together|
While this can be served immediately, remember that the flavors combine and enhance over time. I recommend refrigerating for at least 2 hours before consuming. The salsa should keep in your fridge for about 4-5 days; otherwise, you can use canning methods for preserving the salsa for future use.