Bring together friends family pleasant weather and freshvegetables and you have all the ingredients for a salsa party.
Salsa That Satisfies
Mark's salsa changes each time he makes it, according to what he puts in or decides to leave out. But the essential building blocks remain--onions, tomatoes, and peppers.
A good salsa needs bright color like a surgeon needs insurance. To get it for the salsa shown here, Mark harvests red ('Jersey Devil'), orange ('Persimmon'), purple ('Cherokee Purple'), yellow ('Lemon Boy'), and green ('Green Zebra') tomatoes. He uses only firm fruit. Soft, overripe tomatoes don't slice well.
Now comes the big question: Sweet or hot peppers? Mild salsa calls for sweet peppers, such as 'Sweet Banana.' But Mark likes his salsa spicy enough to take the paint off a car. So he typically employs habanero, Thai, jalapeño, and other sizzling types, which he first grills to add a little smoky flavor.
Not everyone is like Mark, who doesn't mind having his tongue blistered. Adding a cup of brown sugar lets you have your hot salsa and eat it too. "Brown sugar takes the bite away," Mark explains. "It lets you use peppers with more heat and flavor."
This evening, friends and family gather around the table at Mark's house. No eyebrows are singed; people are smiling. America's favorite condiment is a hit once more. The only person missing is George Costanza. George is very upset.