Sunday, November 4, 2012

To Salsa, With Love

In eleven days, I will be on a real (!) honest-to-goodness vacation (!!) in PERU (!!!)

I haven't been out of the country for going on six years now.  I haven't gone anywhere for over a solid week (that wasn't home for the holidays) in just as long.  As they say:  It Is Time.

In part of my ongoing preparations for hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and Peru in general, I've learned a few things:

A) Trust the friendly folks at REI. They know their stuff.
B) I need to go to the famed La Mar restaurant in Lima for ceviche or I will never forgive myself, and
C) Be good at salsa dancing. I hear the Lima crowd doesn't mess around.

With salsa dancing on the brain, it was just a short hop and skip over to my first salsa love: the kind you eat. I'm sure there are no surprises with this one but I LOVE SALSA.  I swear, if you get me a nice bowl of salsa and some crispy tortilla chips, along with a margarita or Negra Modelo, I'll be your friend for life. Unfortunately, good salsa is hard to find here in DC, so those of us with salsa-inclined brains have learned to make our own. 

Inspired as I was by this post on Cup of Jo from Homesick Texan, I jazzed this Roasted Tomato Salsa up a bit.  With a thickness lent from toasted pepitas ground up with the salsa, as well as chipotle, smoked paprika, or smoked sea salt, this salsa is served warm (fresh from a good roasting of the veggies in the oven) and is usually gobbled up within the hour.  Every. Single. Time. I never get any leftover for the week! Next time I'm tripling the batch.

Somewhat smoky and spicy, this salsa has proven itself to be my go-to in the past several months. And while I might have mastered one salsa, it's time to get back to practicing the dancing kind or I'll face epic wallflower shame in the bars of Peru.  Photos and recipes to come, te prometo.

Photo from the Wikitravel page on Machu Picchu.

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