Story of Peach Tomato Salsa
So much has changed since I first posted this recipe on our site! We now reside in the lovely garden city of Winston-Salem in NC where each weekend we are blessed with an abundance of gorgeous and delicious chemical free food grown by so many wonderful small farms. The bounty is overwhelming, even more so than living in the Hudson Valley in the Catskill Mountains, living across the Hudson River in farm country in Claverack, living in Northern California among tons of farms and certainly more than when we lived in hot and getting hotter South Florida. Peach and tomato season are just starting here and elsewhere in the country so I thought I'd repost this here.
My husband and I have been blessed with many opportunities since 1990 to support csa's. In NYC we were among the first members of Roxbury Farm CSA (one of the very first CSA's in the country) then later went on to start a new community drop off site for them at our home when we lived in Westchester County. We understand the benefits of healthy food, grown close to home with as few chemical inputs as possible.
We believe that careful stewardship of the land is always a winning strategy and we learned many moons ago, how delicious is the reward for joining a farm in whatever capacity possible. Then we were fortunate to relocate about 3 hours north of NYC in a farming community and had biodynamic fruit orchard neighbors, an organic vegetable farm and a conventional dairy farm as well as living five miles from the famous Hawthorne Valley biodynamic farm.
Five years later we were new to Northern California and our first season in Antioch, we were members of a CSA for the East Bay where were introduced to Frog Hollow Farm fruits through our farm share. After learning that peaches can create ecstasy, we decided to try a fruit share this spring & summer season, picking up at the farm itself since we live nearby in Antioch.
A fruit farm csa is new for us and frankly, I've never eaten this much fruit in my life! Living in upstate NY as we did for the last five years before moving here, we ate fruit only in season which meant we were very happy for a short time in summer when we could pick organic strawberries & wild blueberries, later in the fall we'd have apples & pears. But that was about the extent of it. Apricots were something you ate dried and a peach was an occasional fruit, often just not very good.
So now that we've been inundated with apricots, apricot became my favorite fruit. Having so many we made apricot jam & canned it. Had a neighbor bring us plums from their trees, so we made jam & canned that too! Getting ready to make jam from plums now with last week & this week's share of plums.
But the peaches have been my favorite fruit to eat out of hand after the cherries (my only complaint so far is that we would have liked more of them from FH) and the apricots and the peaches. Yes, you've guessed it, I can't pick a favorite! The nectarines? Yum!!
We have no kids, so we don't have to share any of our precious fruit! Just kidding, we do share some of our fruit with friends and at a recent business lunch at our home, wowed a friend with this peach salsa recipe which accompanied the meal which was a cous cous main course like a pilaf with veggies in it, seasonings & served with the peach tomato salsa on the side. See my recipe for a (leftover veggies) Wrap with Peach Tomato Salsa.
Peach Tomato Salsa
Fresh Organic Peaches
Fresh Organic Tomatoes
Fresh Squeezed Lemon
Kosher Salt or Rock Salt
Take a fabulous Frog Hollow soccer-ball-sized Suncrest Peach or a few smaller ones, wash & cut in half. Then after taking out the stone seed, chop coarsely, and squeeze a bit of lemon onto them so they don't brown or discolor. (Peel on or off depending on your preferences). Then chop a few favorite heirloom tomatoes, my favorite is early girl or black brandywine or any brandywine tomatoes, or the Old Germans if you're lucky enough to find one of those! Also chop coarsely and then select your favorite fresh green herb and slice into a chiffonade. My favorite so far this summer has been tarragon, but any variety of basil, cilantro, lemon verbena, bronze fennel, really any fragrant fresh herb will do depending on what you're preparing to go with the salsa.
Add the fresh herbs, then sprinkle with good extra virgin olive oil, a bit of sea salt & fresh ground pepper and another very healthy squeeze of fresh lemon. Mix together & serve. It's also good refrigerated for an hour to give it a chill or chill your ingredients beforehand. Note that a finer sea salt will extract lots more fluid out of the fruit than using a coarse salt like a kosher or large grained grey salt. Salt just before serving and squeeze extra lemon, meyer lemon or lime on the dish.
This salsa is best used right away, but I've had it overnight in my fridge to be eaten the following day with success.
Variations: Add Corn cut off the cob or leftover cooked green veggies such as squash, green beans or peas or avocados. Use any fragrant perfumy green herb such as lemon verbena, tarragon, basil, cilantro, epazote, parsley, lemon balm, spearmint is a nice accent for this mix as well. If you're using corn in the mix, try a bit of fresh roasted cumin seed ground up or fennel seed. If you're lucky enough to have wild California fennel growing nearby (not from the side of the road though) grab some fennel pollen and use that on the salsa. Thai basil or any other specialty basil is wonderful in this salsa as well.
See my variation on this recipe in this section, called Tomato Peach & Corn Relish.
Check out Frog Hollow Farms to indulge in some quintessential fruit treats!