My Gramma Ginger is one of the best conversationalists in the world, in my opinion (she’s also one of the namesakes to this blog). This is probably due to the fact that she never sits down with a group of people without a list of prepared questions for any lull in the dialogue. Although she has never asked me this specific question, it came up during a recent get-together with friends. This certainly seems like a question that is quintessentially Ginger-esque – “what would you cook for the president if they came over for dinner?”
While I’m not 100% sure this my go-to presidential dish, it’s definitely in my top 5 contenders. I got the idea to add raisins from eating at Frankie’s Sputino in Brooklyn a few years ago, and their inclusion has been the only change to my recipe in the past 8 years. I make this dish at least once a month, and I consider these the perfect potluck or impromptu dinner party food.
You gotta get your hands a wee bit dirty here and allow yourself the time to let the flavors sit, but how long has it been since you’ve played with a big bowl of tomato chunks? C’mon, it’s fun. Keep in mind – this takes a full 3 hours to make the sauce, but I promise you, the result is worth the wait.
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.