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オリーブ・オイル・サルサ Olive Oil Salsa

オリーブ・オイル 大さじ2
にんにく 2片
レッドアール(赤たまねぎ) 小1/2コ
セロリ 1本
香菜(コリアンダー) 1束
塩・粗挽きこしょう 各少量
好みでバルサミコ酢 適宜
パルミジャーノ・レッジャーノ 適宜

1. にんにく、香菜、ハラペーニョはそれぞれみじん切りにする(ハラペーニョは細かく切るほど辛くなる)。赤たまねぎは5mm角くらいの粗みじん切りにして、セロリは縦に切り目を入れてからできるだけ薄くスライス。

2. 小さめのフライパンに、にんにく、赤たまねぎ、セロリを入れて、弱火にかけつつゴムベラで大きく混ぜ、野菜が柔らかくなるまで2〜5分くらい炒める
(注 油をあまり熱くしないこと)。火を止める。

3. (2)の野菜をボウルに移し、香菜、ハラペーニョを加え、よく和える。最後に塩・こしょうして、好みでバルサミコ酢を少し加え、味を整える。

4. 冷蔵庫で最低でも3時間、できれば一晩おく。いちばん美味しいのは2日目。

5. 厚めに切ったフランスパン(あればチヤバタ)をオーブントースターで軽く温めて、フレッシュ・サルサをお好みの量と薄くスライスしたパルミジャーノ・レッジャーノを乗せる。




I'm having a love affair with Mexican salsa right now. I think it's something to do with the sticky heat that's descended on the city: if I'm going to sweat, I'd rather have fun doing it, and this hot and fiery salsa will make your eyes water, your face and hands sweat and your tongue sing!

I'm having it with everything – on toast in the morning, with natto (yup! That suggestion came from a friend and it's every bit as good as she said it would be) or a fried egg; everything, in fact, save the tortilla chips with which it's normally associated.

The heat of salsas has a purpose: to make the eater break into a sweat. The body cools itself by sweating, and hot, spicy foods have developed in countries that deal with hotter climates, but you want a healthy balance between flavor and pungency: you shouldn't permit an excess of chili to saturate your taste buds or other sensory organs.

A good salsa is all in the vigorous, spirited, vehement, but at the same time, sensual and subtle flavors of the chili pepper. Naturally, you can buy salsa in jars, but making it yourself from fresh, seasonal vegetables is much more satisfying, healthier and you can control the spiciness.

The coriander (or cilantro, as I discovered it's called in the States) and the jalapeno peppers are standard to all salsa recipes, but you can make salsa with pretty much anything. I've made it the traditional way with tomatoes and onions, but the last batch had zucchini and tomatoes in it, and this celery version is my current favorite – think of all that fiber!!!

Incidentally, you don't have to sauté the vegetables, but doing so helps them to absorb the flavors of the other ingredients.


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