Is the clock dangerously close to dinner time and you still have no idea what to make? Need something to eat before you run out the door to avoid dying of starvation later? Don't feel like cooking but really want something to eat? My favourite go-to meal has always been quesadilla. Throw something on a tortilla, add cheese, fold, fry, serve with lettuce, salsa and sour cream. Fast. Easy. Delicious.
Unless you happen to be on an island in the middle of the Adriatic Sea.
As I've told you before, I've managed to conquer homemade tortillas and, while not as fast as opening a package, it really doesn't take me much time to whip up a batch of six. We always have cheese (though I do miss a good cheddar), our garden is still full of lettuce and sour cream, or kiselo vrhnje (the single most difficult item for me to pronounce in all of the Croatian language), is readily available at all local stores.
But wait. A quesadilla without salsa? That's a total quesa-don't-a.
Knowing that salsa is rare to find here and, when it is found, is barely affordable, I had grand plans to make a lasting batch with some of the lovely tomatoes from the garden this summer. Alas, being the tomato fiends (that's right, fiends) that we are, we ate every single glorious red tomato that our plants produced and set aside none for making anything. Oh the best laid plans....
But you know me; I absolutely refused to watch my go-to meal get up and leave so, after spending a good ten minutes staring at the cupboard shelves trying to materialize a large jug of Pace Picante out of thin air, I grabbed the lone can of tomatoes that was already physically present and decided to make my own.
This is probably the easiest salsa you will ever make. It might not be the best you've ever had, but it will take far less time than a trip to the supermarket and will cost much less than grabbing a jar in the chip aisle at the convenience store. And it does taste fresh, even with canned tomatoes. Are you ready?
Dump the following ingredients in to your blender, food processor or a receptacle deep and narrow enough to accommodate a hand blender without spraying salsa all over your kitchen (I used the hand blender - and no, before you assume I am suggesting this from experience, I did not make splatters):
- 1 400g (14.5 oz) can of whole, unpeeled tomatoes, undrained (you'd probably be fine with diced, stewed or chopped tomatoes since they will be salsalated later anyway - but that's what I used)
- 1 good sized onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (you could go with more - my tummy won't let me do more raw garlic than that)
- 1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley (I would actually prefer cilantro, but will need to wait until we grow some)
- 1 minced hot pepper (use your own judgement on this one)
- 2 tsp lime juice (fresh if you can)
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 1 tsp salt (more or less...)
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- few shakes cayenne pepper
Now whir it all up with your mixer of choice and.... snappity snap... salsa! If you like it a bit more chunky, dice one of the tomatoes and hold back half of the chopped onions and stir them in after you've blended (if you've got fresh tomatoes on hand you could dice one up and add it as well).
As with any salsa, the flavours are as varied as the people who eat it. Some like it mild and some like it hot; you'll need to adjust the heat level according to your own personal taste. The salt factor is negotiable too; if you'll be doing the dip with salty chips you might want to hold back a bit. If you like it sweeter, add more sugar. You get my drift.... Use this as a base and make it your own.
Quesadillas are once again fast(ish), easy and, as always, delicious. You probably have a nice big jug of Pace sitting on the top shelf of your fridge but, if you find yourself without, this is definitely a hit in a pinch.
PS. Next year we'll grow more tomatoes.