Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.

Monday, April 6, 2009


Google "salsa" and you get: Results 1 - 10 of about 46,300,000 for salsa [definition]. (0.13 seconds) with the first hit pulling up a bicycle company, and the next three hits dealing with Salsa dancing, salsa music and videos of salsa dancers.

I was surprised, I'll admit. I really thought the rest of the webiverse would have shared my construct that when a person says "salsa" they are nearly always talking about various combinations of chopped vegetables served as a spicy condiment.

Maybe I ought to get out more.

Salsa as a condiment is so much a way of life for me, part of how I used to predict if I was going to get along easily with a person was by how they reacted to the salsa served with chips in any/every Mexican food restaurant in Texas. If they would dip deeply and enjoy then I knew odds were we would probably get along just fine. If they timidly wet the tip of a chip and then choked up and needed water then I knew we may be in for more of a bumpy ride.  It is a rough calculus I admit, but it has served me pretty well for the better part of three decades.    

All by way of which I am explaining to you why it was particularly disconcerting to have the Hub announce recently that several of the dishes I routinely prepare for us are hereby deemed "too spicy".

I get that a person's tolerance for pepper induced heat may shift over time in theory, but most of the folks I know have developed a gradually increasing tolerance for peppers. I never thought I'd be facing a need to cut back on using peppers as a home cook.
Do I have three different kinds of salsa in my refrigerator already? Yes, yes I do.

Live and learn. The Hub, who used to down mass quantities of large seedy slices of jalape├▒os without a problem is now proclaiming himself to be somewhat pepper sensitive. I love the guy and want to please him with our meals rather than cause him gastric distress, so that means I am now looking much more carefully at salsa recipes that never would have garnered a second glance years ago.

Like the following recipe from Mayberry Magpie.This is a Radish Salsa and Ms. Magpie herself indicated it was way low on the heat scale, which is no shock given the ingredient list.

This recipe was shared as part of one of Mayberry Magpie's series of "Sunday Supper" posts. The M-Pie is a firm believer in the many advantages afforded by a nice Sunday Supper prepared with love and eaten at home. I am in full agreement although at times our schedule requires a bit of flexibility.

Like this week when for instance, we are having our nice Sunday Supper on Monday. Hey, it is the thought, not the timing...

Radish Salsa
6 large radishes, chopped
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded & chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 garlic clove, diced
1 TBLS fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground pepper
Splash of olive oil

Toss together all ingredients.  Cover and chill at least 2 hours.  Recipe makes about two cups of salsa and easily doubles.

I made a half recipe since it is only the two of us for dinner tonight and will serve this beside a nice steak. I subbed in a bit of parsley for some of the cilantro since much of my cilantro had bolted. I added some red onion I had on hand thinking it would add a little bit of extra "Zippedy" on top of the "Doo-Dah" of the radish, garlic and cilantro/parsley.  

I was happy to score organic radishes and cukes at Wheatsville which, by the way, is partly settled in to their new larger, better lit digs now.  If you haven't been in there lately be prepared for a delightful adventure.  If you have never been to Wheatsville, then no better time than now to try out the Co-op experience as they continue to expand in wonderful ways.  

To me this preparation honestly tastes a bit more like a salad or slaw than a typical salsa but that is matter of my being habituated to eating predominately pepper laden salsas (try saying that fast aloud 3 times and annoy the hell out of somebody in the room with you). 

While I do like peppery hot foods, I'll confess a salsa does not have to make my eyelids sweat to please me. I can always throw hot sauce on my helpings if I want. Getting that capsicum burn out, once it has been introduced to a dish is, however, impossible.  This salsa may be a no-burner, but it is pretty, has a great crrrrunch to it, and will round out our dinner quite nicely.Tonight we will enjoy grilled steaks and onion along with a baked sweet potato and a little special "not going to push your pepper buttons" Radish Salsa specifically to please the Hub, on the side.  

I can pretty much guarandamntee you we won't be dancing before or after dinner either one, but our taste buds should be quietly happy. And happy taste buds, sitting still or otherwise, are plenty good enough for me.Post Dinner Update: So how did we like the salsa? Honestly we found it a bit too mild. It did have a nice crunch to it and the color was pleasing, but this is one recipe we will give over to the webiverse to find itself a good home elsewhere. C'est la vie!Cheers to Orquesta D'Soul and thank you, Mayberry Magpie.  Home cooked meals shared with the folks you love are a great idea any day of the week.


bee said...

my darling deb, you have committed an unimaginable sacrilege. every salsa needs a tablespoon of tequila. :D yes, it does.

TexasDeb said...

Wow is my screen red. Me a native of the Lone Star State, too. If word gets out they might revoke my Texanity.

I assure you THAT will never happen again. (EVER! So help me bluebonnets!).