Fresh Salsa


1 to 1 1/2 pound fresh tomatoes 
1/2 medium-sized red or yellow onion
1 jalapeño pepper - stems, ribs and seeds removed
1 sweet pepper 
Juice of one lime
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste
Several tablespoons of fresh basil, chopped



Chop the tomatoes, jalapeño and onion into small, uniform pieces. Be careful after handling the jalapeño pepper.  Wash your hands afterwards and don’t touch your eyes.  Set aside some of the seeds from the jalapeño.  If you are using heirloom tomatoes, you may want to chop them and drain off a bit of the liquid (it makes great juice!)


For the sweet pepper, you have an optional step.  The easy thing to do is remove the stems, ribs and seeds, and chop it up.  But if you roast it over a flame on your stovetop or grill first, it will add a nice flavor to the salsa.  Put the gas on a low flame and set the pepper over the flame, turning it as the skin gets charred on each side.  Then put it in a paper bag to sweat for a bit so that when it cools down you can remove the skin.  Now it is ready to chop up.

Set some of the tomato chunks aside. Place all of the other ingredients (except for the jalapeño seeds) in a food processor. Pulse only a few times, just enough to finely dice the ingredients, not enough to purée. Taste the salsa and decide if you want to add any jalapeño seeds to make it spicier.  If you do add some jalapeño seeds, pulse the salsa several more times.

Put the salsa in a serving bowl with the chunks of tomato. Stir in salt and pepper to taste. Let the salsa sit for an hour for the flavors to combine.  This recipe should make 3 or 4 cups of salsa.