Tomato Salsa and Guacamole

The one thing we always try have in our refrigerator at almost any given moment is fresh, homemade salsa. We usually make it pretty chunky and really spicy. However, the one thing we have a hard time finding in Spain at our local grocery store are jalapenos. The only place we’ve found them is at La Boqueria, so we have been substituting in habaneras or cayenne peppers when we can find them instead. Let me tell you, they’re not kidding around. However, as true and blue jalapeno fans we’ve been, we’re becoming converts to the habanero.

Some nights after a super long day, we simply don’t want to cook much of anything. Instead of ordering take away or delivery pizza we will go into the fridge and see what we’ve got. It’s not technically a smorgasbord – we prefer the phrase “hodge-podge.” Those are the nights when you’re always glad to have fresh salsa in the fridge.  The same goes for avocados. You can always make guac when you’re making salsa with one extra ingredient.

This recipe makes a lot of salsa, but not enough to freeze or can. Then again, there can never be enough salsa in our house.

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Sweet Potato & Cilantro Hummus

During our jaunt through London we came upon a restaurant that advertised a sweet potato and cilantro hummus. Unfortunately, we were not able to try the dish due to a persistent and insatiable desire for Sunday roast; you only have so many meal opportunities when you’re on vacation. Still, I thought it sounded interesting enough that I wanted to try and see what we could do with these flavors at home.

I had originally wanted to make this as the filling for a “quesadilla” using red peppers, but I couldn’t get the texture quite right. You need the crunch of the pepper to make the quesadilla concept work, but the flavor of the roasted red pepper is required to create the best taste. Unfortunately, roasting the pepper means no more crunch. The compromise I found was to add the red pepper to the hummus and serve with crunchy crudités. The flavors together work in almost perfect harmony. Yes, it’s a simple recipe, but who says that easy can’t be tasty, too?

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