“Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist.” ~ George Carlin
When thinking of the future, it’s natural to look to the past to predict what’s to come. Surely, that’s a purpose of our lifelong experiences. After being burned, we learn to stay away from the fire. Unfortunately, this logic doesn’t leave much room for hope and possibility.
There are Seattle gardeners who grow large red tomatoes every year. I am not one of them. My cherry tomatoes ripen, but all the other varieties I’ve planted thrive into beautiful plants, heavy with green fruit. It doesn’t stop me from trying. I tell myself my garden doesn’t get enough sun (not now, nor in the half dozen other places I’ve lived).
Thus, I decided to make green tomato salsa again this year, well before the ripening season had ended. I have green tomatoes now, why wait for the red ones that may never come? This perspective may be considered negative or cynical, yet there’s something positive here too. I’m taking what I have now and making it great. And what do you know? Some of my romas are turning red after all.
Green Tomato Salsa
2 lb. green tomatoes, cored and chopped
1 lb. white or yellow onions, chopped
3/4 lb. sweet red peppers, cored and chopped
1/2 lb. tart cooking apples, such as Granny Smith, cored and chopped
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon kosher or sea salt
3 large jalapeno peppers, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Combine the tomatoes, onions, peppers, apples, garlic, vinegar, and salt in a large, nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about an hour.
Stir in the jalapenos and cumin and simmer for 5 more minutes. Add the cilantro. Carefully purée the mixture until still somewhat chunky. Keeps in the refrigerator for 3 weeks.
Makes 3 pints.