Friday, June 7, 2013

Sweet-and-Sour Green-Tomato Salsa

Having bought a big batch of beautiful green tomatoes at the market earlier in the week, I'm having fun playing with this ingredient, which I rarely use. Last night, I made a healthier version of fried green tomatoes, and tonight I'm trying them in place of standard red tomatoes for salsa.

  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 and 1/2 cups chopped green tomato
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vegan brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped sweet onion (such as Vidalia)
  • 1 minced garlic clove
1. Cut the bell pepper in half lengthwise and discard the seeds and membranes.  Place on a foil-lined baking sheet, skin sides up, and flatten with your hand.  Broil for 10 minutes, until blackened.  Transfer the pepper halves to a zip-top plastic bag and seal; let stand for 10 minutes. Peel off the skins, and finely chop the pepper; set aside.

2. Meanwhile, combine the green tomato, balsamic, brown sugar, and salt in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth.

3. Transfer the tomato mixture to a small saucepan and cook over medium-high heat for 5 to 15 minutes; the liquid should be almost all evaporated. 

Note: This step sounded odd, since previously you have pureed the mixture until smooth, so isn't it all liquid now? As it evaporates down, though, you'll find that you're left with a deep green tomato pulp. I recommend giving it close to 15 minutes to achieve the proper texture. So your mixture will transform from this:

to this:

4. Transfer to a small bowl and cool to room temperature, then stir in the roasted bell pepper, sweet onion, and garlic.

Serve with your favorite tortilla chips of course.  Note that your serving size may vary slightly from the nutrition info below, depending how large your bell pepper is.

Nutrition Info:
3 servings (1/4 cup), Calories 13

Tasting Notes:
You definitely get both sweet (the brown sugar) and sour (the tart tomatoes, the vinegar) in this recipe, making for a nice mix - almost reminiscent of a sweet pickle relish. The salsa also was very similar to the Tomatillo Salsa I prepared on this blog ages ago, which of course only makes sense since tomatoes and tomatillos are of the same family (though while green tomatoes are the unripe version, green tomatillos are exactly ripe enough). I  would use only half as much bell pepper and onion next time, for better tomato flavor. Use a sturdy tortilla chip, since thin ones won't hold up under this hearty mix. I recommend Garden of Eatin's multigrain everything chips.


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