What could be simpler than the freshness of a relishy chopped tomato salsa? The juicy tenderness of red-ripe tomato against the crunch of raw onion, aromatic cilantro, garlic and lime--this salsa is Mexican cooking at its most beguiling. Of course, this salsa is best when the tomatoes are perfect--from just-picked, vine-ripe, locally grown tomatoes--but don’t overlook the pleasure of this salsa made of good store-bought tomatoes that you’ve allowed to ripen a few days on you kitchen counter.
Makes about 2 cups
- 2 ripe, medium-size round tomatoes
- A dozen or so large sprigs of cilantro
- 1 small garlic clove, peeled and very finely chopped (optional)
- 1 bunch green onions, trimmed and chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- Cut the tomatoes in half widthwise and squeeze out the seeds if you wish (it will give the sauce a less rustic appearance). Grate the tomatoes on the cut side using the coarsest side of a four-sided grater set in a pie plate until only the skin remains. Discard the skins.
- Carefully bunch up the cilantro sprigs, and, with a sharp knife, slice them 1/16-inch thick, stems and all, working your way down from the leafy end until you run out of leaves. Scoop the chopped cilantro into the tomato along with the optional garlic and onions. Taste and season with lime juice and salt (usually about ¾ teaspoon), and let stand if you have a little time, for the flavors to meld before using or scooping into a salsa dish and serving.