I’m no world traveler, but if I were, I’d have tried one of the many versions of this salsa served all over South America. Truly wonderful with a bit of a sweet/sour undertone, I literally crave it at times. I’ve served it to others, too, who can’t get enough of it. Make it as fiery hot or mild as you’d like, and chop it, blend it or mash it with mortar and pestle.
Here in Minnesota, true authenticity is out; I’ve never seen the small red/yellow peppers known as the Aji. That doesn’t mean I have to miss out on the deliciousness – we do have the fruity Habanero and with a little tinkering I’ve come up with a perfect version with just a touch of heat.
I often serve this Aji Salsa, generously, with chunky vegetables as a refreshing side dish. When I serve it as a condiment or a dip, I serve as shown in the photo, and I may, if the mood strikes, pulse it lightly in my food processor. Like many Salsas, the taste only improves as it sits. Using reasonably priced ingredients, the Salsa runs about $2.14 to make.
- 1 Habanero chile pepper, seeded and minced, or 2 to 3 Aji Peppers
- 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped finely
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup vinegar (plain, cider or red wine)
- Juice of 1 lime (or lemon)
- 1 teaspoons salt
- 1-2 teaspoons sugar
- 3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped and drained (they can be blanched and skinned)
- 1/3 cup cilantro, minced (optional)
- 3 green onions, white and green parts, chopped
- 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped (I liked red onion best)
- Black pepper to taste
Place the peppers in a food processor or blender with the vinegar, lime juice, salt and sugar and olive oil. Process until nearly smooth.
Add the chopped tomatoes, chopped onion, green onions and cilantro to a bowl, drizzle with the pepper blend. Taste for seasoning and add more salt/sugar/black pepper as needed. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
Note: When made with a whole Habanero, this burned the tip of my tongue and left a little burn in the back of my throat. I tried it the next time with just a half and thought it was perfect – just a little spicy, giving the vinegar and tomatoes a chance to shine. Of course, if you love heat, use more!
from the kitchen of www.frugalhausfrau.com
Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:
- Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
- Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
- Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
- Read Strategies Applied for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.
cal 78; cat from fat: 60, 77%; tot fat 6/9g; sat fat .95g; chol 0mg’ sod 295mg; tot carb 4.4g; fib 1.03g; sug 2.11g; prot .72g
Put Your own Spin on It:
By all means, don’t be bound by tradition – feel free to put what you like in this salsa and make it your own.
Recipe made July 2012, repriced in February 2014 with a 14 cent increase.