For the last week or so, we’ve been busy saying goodbye to friends and wrapping up our lives in Ohio. Last night we had some friends over for a goodbye barbecue, a great excuse to get them to help empty our shelves. I’ve been on a mission for the past two weeks, pressuring virtual strangers to accept jars of exotic marinades or mint flavored hot fudge, all in the spirit of purging.
When our friends arrived for the barbecue, I was staring at a large bowl filled with our CSA produce for the week, made more ecclectic by the crippling heat wave: one cucumber, a dozen heirloom tomatoes, a tiny melon, one garlic head, and a couple of onions. I wasn’t sure what to do with it all, emphasis on all, until I realized that I was staring at the ingredients for a mean bowl of fresh salsa.
A few minutes of vigorous, stress-reducing chopping later, and we were all happily digging into some fresh and vibrant tomato and melon salsa. I didn’t reach for a recipe book – that would have meant confronting another room I needed to think about packing up. I went by instinct, tossing in some white vinegar, some cayenne pepper, a little salt, and some fresh parsley, and tasting along the way.
Sometimes inspiration strikes at the most unexpected moments. If I hadn’t been completely overwhelmed, staring at the piles of stuff I’ve accumulated in a year’s life, I might never have thought to combine all that fresh produce together, in the perfect summer appetizer.
Homemade Melon Salsa
3 Beautifully Ripe Tomatoes
1 large cucumber
1 vidalia onion
1/2 cup of parsley (or cilantro if no one objects!)
1/4 cup of white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper (or less if you don’t like it hot)
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
- Chop all vegetables.
- Toss veggies together.
- Season with vinegar, salt, and pepper.
- Sprinkle parsley on top. Taste and season again if needed. If you have time to refrigerate it for an hour, the juices will meld. But you will need some serious restraint to hold off eating all this freshness until then!