DIY Chipotle’s Salsa

Just another perk of living in the city of Philadelphia (or, I assume, any city) – Sometimes you come across something like this:

Fancy meeting you here.

A mid-day salsa tasting and technique class in the middle of the garden?  Don’t mind if I do.

I’ll admit, I’ve attempted to make salsa before. It involved a food processor and resulted in a big watery mess, which I tried to remedy with some hot sauce… Hot sauce in salsa?

I know, I recognize how ridiculous this is in hindsight.  Luckily, I let the pros show me how to do it right before this attempt.

First cut is the deepest….

The Chipotle employee showed me that the best way to chop an onion is by not cutting it all the way apart at the end, that way it stays together when you cut the other direction.

Like this:

Safety first, she had a chain-mail glove on

She dumped a perfect pile of chopped onion into the bowl before moving onto the next ingredient.

That’s how she gets her jollies 

She sliced the jalapenos into itsy bitsy bits, not bothering to remove the seeds. I’ve never heard of such a practice, but who am I to argue with greatness?

I forgot to snap shots of the chopping of the tomatoes, distracted by this little jewel.

Freebies flock to me on my birthday

A miniature order of chips and salsa distracted me just long enough to miss the (vine-ripened) tomato chopping BUT don’t worry, I developed laser-like focus when it came time to watch the cilantro be chopped finely as I’ve ever seen cilantro chopped.

Beautifully green, and grown in Jersey!

Apparently, Chipotle’s done a great job of trying to focus on as much locally sourced and organic ingredients as possible. About 80% of the cilantro they use is organic, so you know it’s good.

Let’s mix it up!  Squirt some lime in there and….

Got that cilantro sprinkle…

Since they couldn’t serve me the good stuff they’d just showed me how to make, I had to take matters into my own hands. Luckily, the Rittenhouse Farmer’s Market was the next day and, since the Chipotle folks gave me my own little recipe card, I went to work.

Ingredients from the market!

I got everything but the cilantro from the market, and got to chopping.

I love how Chipotle uses red onions (my favorite of the onion family) for color and taste, and all that chopping, though tedious, resulted in a MUCH more successful salsa.

The final product!!

I halved the recipe here, but here’s the version they gave out:

  • 6 vine-ripened tomatoes
  • 1/2 a red onion
  • 2 jalapenos
  • 1/3 cup of chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sugar (which I did not use in my version)
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Dice the tomatoes, onion, and jalapenos (and go super fine with those jalapenos). Combine all the ingredients and season to taste!

Serve with your favorite chips or do as I did and top your favorite taco salad with this chopped salsa.

Or, if you’re tired and lazy, go to your nearest Chipotle and get the pros to serve you some…

Tomato, to-mah-toe.

Ever make your own salsa? What’s your recipe??

If not, where do you get your favorite salsa?





The Durham Farmer’s Market: My favorite Saturday morning pasttime

Hello friends!!

It’s an absolutely stunning Saturday here in the Triangle.  The weather’s in the mid-90s, par for course here, but in a little while, I’ll head to the pool to cool off.  This morning, though, was a nice and breezy day at the Durham Farmer’s Market.  I’ve written about it before, or at least about my haul, but I feel as though I didn’t give justice to just how much I love it.

In the past few years of my life, I’ve become quite the early bird.  I’m always the first one awake after a long night, and (alas) the first one to fall asleep. It is my burden. However, on Saturday mornings, before the beau wakes up and before the sun heats the world to a sizzling sauna, it’s my own private little gift.

I woke up at nine, stopped briefly at the bank to deposit a check and take out some cash (as most of the vendors prefer or only accept cash) and head to downtown Durham. I’ve been spending much more time there lately, visits to Fullsteam and restaurants in the area like Bull City Burger and it’s finally starting to feel like my city.

Today, when I arrived, the first thing I spotted was a welcome mini food truck rodeo.

Pie Pushers Truck, snapped with Instagram

There was also a Kettle Corn truck and a truck that featured chicken and waffles. As tempting as the intoxicating scents of the Breakfast Pizza and sugary kernels were, I had tunnel vision. I was on a mission and that mission was produce.  The options seemed endless.

A rainbow of options!

Though I initially came in with no exact plan on buying anything, as I visited more vendors, an idea of what I needed came to me.

I had plenty of basil and spinach, no need for more greens.

As much as I wanted everything from the Chapel Hill Creamery, it wasn't in the cards today.

EUREKA! That's the ticket!

As soon as I saw the vibrant purple eggplant and all the different pepper options, I knew those were all that I wanted! I’ll admit, it was very difficult to resist the other tasty treats on the menu.

Oh, baked goods, I want each and every one of you in/around my mouth.

I'll admit, it's not very hard to resist meat sticks... but that's just me.

Resisting the baked goods from Scratch Bakery is always an uphill battle.... Sometimes I don't win it. But it's the most delicious loss possible!

The Durham Farmer’s Market also occasionally has Chefs from local restaurants and shops come in to sample some of their goodies!

Today's chef was from the Pomegranate Kitchen

I tried a bit of the split pea soup, but it definitely wasn’t for me. Not enough flavor, but very fresh tasting.

I also have a soft spot in my heart for the underdogs of the farmer’s market.

Aw, they're beautiful on the inside.

I just can't say no to them!!

I grabbed two of these peaches, and made one into some peach pancakes for Pancake Saturday.

The Durham Farmer’s Market just starts my weekend off in the best possible way.  And I always get a look at the cutest little socially conscious kids!

She'll probably move to Carrboro when she turns 18.

I know I tease the Carrboro and Durham hippy kids a lot (and have ever since I went to UNC) but deep down inside, I love em, and am thankful that they exist so that I can keep visiting spots like the DFM.

My bag o' veggies! aka the good stuff.

Now, it’s a very welcome pool time.

Do you ever go to the Farmer’s market?  If so, what do you get?