In the Kitchen: Salsa Verde

Even though the tomatillo plants have been dying like flies from a suspected fungal infection, I do have two plants left, and they are loaded.  So there was a smidgen of salsa this year after all, which I am content with.

The garden is so much work – seeding, transplanting, tending, watering, weeding, building, fertilizing, picking pests.  So much killing is involved with growing vegetables, so much hands-on every day death I think about when I rip up the hopeful seedling nutsedge, or drop a plump caterpillar into soapy water.

It makes the casualties be so tragic – like having to rip out four precious tomatillo plants (tears were shed on my part), but after all enough is enough.  How much do we really need?  A few salsas, that’s all I ask for.

This turned out to be part of a wonderful dinner of fried squash, pork chili made with our onions, tomatoes, lard and pork, and home made tortillas (not our masa….someday!).

For the salsa I used ideas from a recipe in this book.
It involved some home-grown pepper, onion and cilantro, too.  Cilantro is usually a winter herb because it bolts very quickly in the heat, but I think I will always grow it in the summer, too.  It is a very pretty flower, almost like Queen Anne’s Lace, one of my favorite wildflowers that, alas, does not grow here.  It is beautiful beside the picotee cosmos and cactus rose zinnias.  And I am finding the thinner, bolted leaves perfectly satisfactory for salsa and garnishes.  It has such a wonderfully strong flavor, a little goes a long way.

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