- 8 medium tomatoes (I bought ours at a local farm shop – as I have set myself a challenge to avoid supermarkets for a variety of reasons, which you can find out more about here)
- 2 small onions (or one large one) (I used red onions that we picked ours at the end of September at a local (ish) pick your own farm Roundstone Farm and dried and stored them outside in our garden in a cold frame on a load of stones)
- 4 garlic cloves (my husband grew ours in our garden with bulbs we bought at Seedy Sunday, which is coming up again soon! They were stored in our kitchen having been plaited and hung off a cupboard door – see more here)
- The original recipe calls for 4 jalapeno chillies – I actually used 1 dried red chilli – no idea of variety and it was spicy enough for us (my mum gave us a chilli plant which had one green chilli on it, which gradually turned red and then we put it in the fridge for months until it got used up in this recipe. We didn’t have much luck growing chillis last year, but I think now is the time to plant chilli seeds, so we are going to give it another go!)
- A sprinkling of dried oregano (bought in a local shop which sells herbs in much larger bags than you would find in the supermarket at much cheaper comparative prices – see here how much money I saved on cumin in that shop)
- A drizzle of cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, (which has come in a dark bottle and has a production/ harvest date as well as expiration date to ensure that you have the real thing – see more here about that). This came from my local grocers in Southwick Square and is a bit pricey, but worth it as it I know I am using genuine cold pressed olive oil (and supporting a local business). There are other health reasons for us all to avoid processed vegetable oils which you can read more about here
- 1/2 a teaspoon of salt (I’m not sure I added quite that much and I used freshly ground sea salt left over from my supermarket days. I use sea salt in preference to table salt, because table salt has added cr*p, whereas sea salt is just salt.)
- 4 tbps water
- Not in the original recipe, but I also added a squeeze of tomato puree (again bought in Southwick Square grocers) and a sprinkling of paprika (bought in the same shop as the oregano). I added both of these to make the salsa look a bit redder as it was looking quite pale.
- Put the tomatoes in a saucepan of boiling water, bring to the boil and heat for a few minutes or until the skin starts to peel away easily (it helps if you make crosses at the bottom of the tomatoes when testing if the skin will peel)
- Peel the tomato skins off.
- Chop the tomatoes, onions, garlic and chillis finely
- Mix all the ingredients together in a non-reactive saucepan and keep stirring every so often until cooked.
- Optional – blend all the ingredients together (I used a hand held blender)
If you are reading this thinking that’s all well and good for me having all this hand picked/ home grown/ locally bought stuff, well it is very achievable for you too. How long does it take to plant a few chilli seeds and water them as they grow? Or to chuck a few garlic cloves in the ground, if you have a garden – not sure if they would work inside (although the way we have done it worked out quite expensive – we need a bit of a rethink on that)? It is a day out for us to take the kids fruit and veg picking and we can do something practical at the same time by picking onions at the end of the season when they are cheap to eat throughout the rest of the year, when they may not be as cheap – I haven’t actually price checked that though (or as long as they last us). You might find that your local shops are more accessible than the supermarkets, with shorter queues and friendlier staff, plus if you find the right shop you could save £££’s on herbs and spices, or failing that why not grow your own herbs?
I am currently undertaking a Year of Eco Challenges . If you have a moment I would really appreciate it if you would consider sponsoring me with an action on my DoNation page. Also if you liked this post please click like on Facebook and follow on Twitter – thanks so much!