A good salsa can transform a meal, whether it's nachos or steak and chips. It's also quick, easy and cheap to make (plus homemade salsa is much tastier than the shop-bought pots). Niamh from Eat Like A Girl shares her recipe for a delicious charred tomato and basil salsa below.
There are many ways of making salsa. In this one, I like to introduce some char and smokiness. This is easy, even if you don't have a BBQ. If you have a BBQ, char half of the tomatoes over your grill before adding to the salsa. If you don't, drizzle them with olive oil before blistering them under the grill. You won't get the smoke or char but you will intensify their sweetness which will contrast beautifully with their fresh fruity siblings.
I use a mild chilli here, but sometimes I might use a fiery scotch bonnet if I feel it or I needs a kick. I also try to mix the tomatoes a bit, yellow tomatoes are relatively easy to come by in season, but you can get green and even purple and tiger striped tomatoes too. Increasing the variety increases the flavour, so go for it, and mix it up if you can.
Garlic is a must with tomatoes, and I like to use fresh basil and mint here as they are perfect.The garlic is raw and a bit pungent. If that isn't for you, use half a red onion or some spring onions instead.
How to eat it? In nachos with fresh guacamole, simply with tortilla chips, or as a spritely side for your BBQ meat. This is fabulous with BBQ pork or lamb chops. For something more simple, try it with some feta sprinkled on top, the salty slightly sour cheese is wonderful with the sweet tomatoes.
Best made fresh, you can keep it in the fridge covered if you need to, but the tomatoes do lose something after a bit. I use small sweet tomatoes here, a mixture of types and colours.
Charred Tomato Salsa with Basil & Mint
5 minutes + 5 minutes assembly time
500g small fresh tomatoes, one third halved and the rest coarsely chopped
A handful of fresh basil and fresh mint (combined)
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 mild red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
Juice of half a lemon (unwaxed is best)
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt to season
Blister the tomatoes chopped in half on the BBQ or under the grill. This should take no more than 5 minutes when your BBQ/grill is hot. If your tomatoes are small, put them on some aluminium foil first.
Combine the rest of the ingredients and add the olive oil to taste. Then when the tomatoes are done and have cooled down, chop them, discarding any loose skins, and combine with the rest of the salsa. Season with sea salt and serve.
How To Make Smashed Guacamole