Friday, April 27, 2012

50 Women Game-Changers - # 45 - Diana Kennedy- Fresh Salsa Mexicana from Jerez

Wake up and smell the salsa.
This is not salsa made in New York City.
Nor in San Antonio.
This salsa is made in your house. On your cutting board. 
And not in your Cuisinart.

Plant your gardens and sharpen your knives.
This salsa is worth the time it takes to  grow the ingredients and make it by hand.  But you can make it in its glorious Mexican-flag colors this weekend in honor of Cinco de Mayo if you'd like!

If you've not been part of this journey thus far, welcome to my addition to a great group of food bloggers who are, week by week, cooking dishes from the 50 Women Game-Changers in Food from Gourmet Live.  This Friday we feature Mexican chef, teacher, and cookbook author, Diana Kennedy, a Brit (b. 1923)  who ended up in Mexico in love with Mexican food for more than fifty years.  Intent on sharing her passion, Kennedy wrote many cookbooks, (I count about twenty, though some are in English and some in Spanish.) but has remained most intent on passing on information about the culture of ingredients, agriculture,  and cuisine all over the country.

“I’m a very active person,” she said. “I want to spend the rest of my days doing what I know best and that’s identifying what people are using in the culture.”   Read more
Want to check out a recent interview?   Read a  2011 interview with 88 year-old Diana Kennedy here.

But let's get to the good stuff.  How do you make this salsa?  And what's it good for?

fresh salsa mexicana from jerez 

  1. 1 poblano chile—stems, seeds, and veins removed and flesh finely chopped
  2. 1 red jalapeƱo chile—stems, seeds, and veins removed and flesh finely chopped
  3. 2 yellow chiles—stems, seeds and veins removed and flesh finely chopped  *
  4. 2 serrano chiles, finely chopped
  5. 3 tablespoons finely chopped white onion
  6. 1 ripe medium tomato (about 4 ounces), finely chopped
  7. 1/2 cup water
  8. 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  9. 1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried oregano
  10. Salt
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl; season with salt to taste. Set aside to macerate for about 1 hour.
*Not wanting an overly-hot salsa, I substituted red  bell pepper for these chiles.  My salsa was quite mild.  For a hotter salsa, try adding first one and then another yellow chile.

Recipe courtesy FOOD & WINE.
This salsa was really tasty with eggs, and while I'm not a chip-eater, I did try it with some tortilla chips and would have eaten more if I weren't saving some for a Friday night movie.   I think it would make a great veggie dip; I'm always looking for vegetable-based dips.  You could ladle this sauce over simple greens or plain steamed vegetables.  I thought I'd try it with some plain grilled chicken and then in a chicken taco salad over the weekend.  My guess is it won't keep more than a couple of days, but who would want it to?

I just loved the colors and intrinsic beauty of the ingredients and kept taking photographs of the greens and the reds.... 

And just to tease you:

Eggs traded for cookies with a St. Paul pianist who has a backyard full of chickens.

Please take some time and visit more of our great food bloggers:

Val - More Than Burnt Toast, Taryn - Have Kitchen Will Feed, Susan - The Spice Garden
Heather - girlichef, Miranda - Mangoes and Chutney, Amrita - Beetles Kitchen Escapades
Mary - One Perfect Bite, Sue - The View from Great Island, Barbara - Movable Feasts
Linda A - There and Back Again, Nancy - Picadillo, Mireya - My Healthy Eating Habits
Veronica - My Catholic Kitchen, Annie - Most Lovely Things, Jeanette - Healthy Living
Claudia - Journey of an Italian Cook, Alyce - More Time at the Table
Kathy - Bakeaway with Me, Martha - Simple Nourished Living, Jill - Saucy Cooks
Sara - Everything in the Kitchen Sink

If you liked this, you might like Boiled Eggs on English Muffins with Asparagus and Cheese Sauce on my Dinner Place  blog:

Cooking for One - It's Fun!
 Sing a new song,


  1. Consider me "teased." I do grow a salsa garden - cannot get enough of that stuff and love the recipe. And those photos - is it too early to plant?

  2. Supposed to freeze tonight; my herbs are in the back of my car right now. I have a heated garage here in St. Paul! (I love salsa, too. The idea of a "salsa garden" really appeals.)

  3. There is NOT much better than freshly made salsa...I could eat that plate (well, what's on it) happily for breakfast right now!

  4. @Heather: I love salsa for breakfast; I have it on an egg white omelet many mornings. (I like Frontera salsas really well!)

  5. Oh boy, she sure loved her chiles, didn't she? It's a wonder her tummy can still take all the heat! :) Like your idea of calming the salsa down with red peppers, Alyce.

  6. How nice to have a neighbor that you can barter with. I wouldn't be able to eat her recipe of salsa Jerez style—way too spicy for me. I like the way you toned it down.

  7. Oh I'll have to make this one! Since I don't have a garden, I'll keep my eyes open for the ingredients at the farmer's market! I like it spicy, but I'd have to tone it down for my husband. Thanks for the bell pepper suggestion.

  8. I really like this recipe. I love the jewel-like tones of fresh salsa and yours is especially beautiful. I hope you have a great weekend. Blessings...Mary

  9. I love fresh salsa, and that you paired it with eggs. Nice work!

  10. How fresh and delicious your recipe looks. Thanks for sharing with us.

  11. Yum! A great salsa! I love it fire engine red hot! It lets me swill a cold beer or two to cool the tongue down and not feel guilty! Perfect Cinco de mayo treat!

  12. This does sound tasty and fresh fro breakfast, lunch or dinner.

  13. This looks so fresh and wonderful! The photo of the eggs and salsa…simply delicious looking! I’d love to grab my fork and dig right in!

  14. Ok, anyone who's at the door Monday @730am, you have breakfast waiting. Email me first!

  15. I've got some of this salsa left, so I may have to go cook an egg after seeing your photo. Thanks for the wonderful idea.


I can't wait to hear from you!

When you click on "Comment as," you have a choice of google id, etc. If you don't have a google id or a blog, choose ANONYMOUS. When you type your comment, you can sign your name there. Thanks!