Summer Salsa with a Shot

Yield:
4 to 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus additional for seasoning
  • 4 medium ripe tomatoes, cored and diced
  • 1/4 medium red onion, finely diced
  • 1 jalapeno, stemmed and minced (with seeds for more heat)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons silver tequila (optional)
  • White corn tortilla chips, for dipping
Directions

Smash the garlic clove, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the salt, and, with the flat side of a large knife, mash and smear the mixture to a coarse paste. Mix the garlic, tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, and cilantro in a serving bowl. Add the tequila, if desired, and season with the remaining salt, adding more to taste if necessary.

Serve immediately or cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 1 hour at room temperature. Serve with the tortilla chips.

The best tomatoes--juicy with a bright, summer-sweet taste--are vine-ripened. A cue for great taste is a deep, rich color all the way up to the stem, but a full tomato aroma counts too. Don't be shy: It's OK to sniff a tomato. Store your tomatoes at room temperature, not in the refrigerator; chilling deadens their taste and mars their texture.

Why mash instead of mince garlic? For raw dips and sauces, when the garlic is reduced to a smooth paste, it flavors a dish more evenly and less harshly than if added in pieces. Another reason to love this "smushing": It's quicker than mincing.

Recipe modified on 8/5/10


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