This week’s article comes straight from the backyard garden of Sally Junkin, as she shares her award-winning blue ribbon fresh salsa recipe!
One of the best things about planting a backyard garden is enjoying all of the wonderful homemade, super-fresh foods you can create from it. Whether it is crunchy homemade pickles, roasted eggplant, or the simple pleasure of roasted sweet-corn, you can’t beat the taste of homegrown fresh vegetables in the kitchen. See : Grandmas Icebox Pickles
And when it comes to Sally Junkin’s blue ribbon winning fresh salsa recipe, it’s all about pure home-grown freshness!
Sally hails from southern Indiana, and grows all of her vegetables in a big backyard garden first created by her father as a wedding present. “When I first got married some 30 years ago, my husband and I lived in a small trailer on 5 acres of my parent’s farmland,”says Sally. “My parents gave us the land as part of our wedding present, and the plan was to save up a few years so we could build a house.
The day we got back from our honeymoon, my dad had already tilled us up a big plot in the backyard. I still remember him now telling us that gardening was a great way to save for the house. I had never gardened at all other than working in my parents vegetable patch. I didn’t really like it to be honest, but I figured it would help us to save on the food bill.”
He was right of course about saving money, but more importantly, I fell in love with gardening and cooking from the garden. A few years later, we built the house, and the garden has never moved for 30 years!”
Well that garden has certainly led to some great food on the Junkin table over the years. It also eventually led to a big Blue Ribbon for Sally’s fresh salsa recipe.
“I had been making salsa for years, and my two girls finally convinced me to put my salsa in the local fair,” says Sally, “and low and behold it won a Blue Ribbon. It was just another reason I am still glad to this day that Dad tilled up that first garden.”
We are glad too, because it led to Sally sharing her homemade salsa recipe with us today! In her words, here is Sally’s recipe.
Sally Junkin’s Blue Ribbon Garden Fresh Salsa Recipe
If there is one true secret to my family’s fresh salsa recipe, it is using our San Marzano tomatoes. For as long as I can remember, we have grown San Marzanos in the garden. They are absolutely the tastiest tomato, and make perfect salsa and sauce.
The recipe below is enough to make a large-sized bowl good for an evening with family or friends. It is so easy and quick to make, I like making it in small batches to keep it fresh.
Although I have a food processor, I still cut up all the ingredients by hand. I just think it tastes better and more fresh.
8 San Marzano tomatoes diced fine
1/2 cup red onion diced fine
4 garlic cloves minced
1 tsp cumin
1/2 cup cilantro
2 tablespoons of lime ( juice of 1 lime)
1/2 tsp salt
2 jalapeno peppers diced ultra fine, with half of seeds left in.
1/2 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar
Making the salsa is as simple as cutting up and stirring together the ingredients. I always like to let it chill for at least an hour in the fridge before setting out. One thing I always make sure of is to never refrigerate any of the garden produce prior to using. I really think it changes the flavor.
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