Cooking with Tomato Mountain Salsas
Tomato Mountain salsas are convenient to order with your CSA, healthy, and easy to use. While they’re great with chips or crudités, they can be also be used for cooking nourishing, delicious meals. Use these suggestions to improve not only your chips-and-salsa snacks, but entrees and side-dishes as well.
Since our salsas distinguish themselves with different flavor profiles (rather than simply mild, medium and hot), they lend themselves to many different uses, enhancing the flavors of many different foods. Most people have a preferred flavor profile of salsa, from smoky to tart to spicy. This page has descriptions of each of our salsas to help you figure out which one will work best in your home.
With its fresh, vegetal taste Garden Tomato is well suited to make or enhance a vinaigrette – just add some and adjust it to suit your taste. It’s also good way to dress a baked potato that's lower in fat and calories and higher in nutrition than the classic butter-and-sour-cream toppings. A natural with eggs, cooked fish and shellfish, which pick up on the garlicky salsa. Summer grain salads, pasta, couscous, rice, etc. team up nicely.
Put this with fish, chicken and pork. Add it to eggs, whether they're fried, scrambled, or omelets (plain or with cheese). To make a braised dish with fish, chicken or pork, simply: 1) sauté onion (and garlic if desired), 2) add the protein; once it gets a little brown … 3) dump some salsa. It can also be used as a finishing sauce for fish, chicken or pork. For kids, Tomatillo is a good dipping sauce for grilled cheese sandwiches.
Since Chipotle is tremendously smoky it works really well as a marinade for chicken, tofu or heavier meats – beef, pork and lamb. If you are grilling, it makes a fantastic basting sauce. A favorite use is to add it to beans (particularly red beans). Beans can be home-cooked or even straight out of a can (after rinsing off the liquid the beans are originally set in), the intense smoky flavor is incredible with the neutral bean base. You can then then use the beans as is, with rice for a meal, inside tacos or stuffed in veggies, or any number of other uses.
The easiest to work into a meal. While it might be mild for someone who demands an ultra-spicy salsa for their chips, it’s really useful and versatile for cooking. Once it’s been opened pull it out every time you take ketchup or barbeque sauce out of the fridge. Good for absolutely everything. It’s the most adaptable marinade and finishing sauce. Again, use it to braise (see the quick recipe under tomatillo). Use with potatoes, eggs, vinaigrettes, pasta, beans, tofu, tempeh, any meat, casserole or braised dishes.
Once it’s been opened, use it anytime you would use hot sauce to perk a dish up – in soup, eggs, beans, pasta. To mellow its heat you can use this salsa in concert with another salsa or sauce or our Whole Roasted Tomato Puree. The kick tends to hang back while you're snacking, so don't eat it too quickly! If your palate likes the spice, use it as you would any other salsa. The sophisticated fruity habanero, followed by that sweet tomatoey heat, improves any dish, from eggs to potatoes to meats.
Overall tips for salsas
All five salsas are fantastic for adding spice and appeal to any grain – from quinoa to leftover rice, from wheatberries to noodles. We recommend adding a bit at a time, as it's easier to add more flavore than remove it. To make a grain into an easy pilaf:
if you have the time, sauté an onion (carrot, pepper, whatever veggies you have around) in a light coating of vegetable oil. If you don’t have the time, don’t worry, it’ll still be good with just salsa!
toss in the grain, either cooked or uncooked.. If you are using an uncooked grain allow it to pick up a bit of flavor in the fat and then add any of our salsas (or soup or pasta sauce). If you are using a cooked grain, immediately add the salsa. Heat and allow the grain to blend with the salsa's flavor and serve.
Where proteins (tofu or seitan, fish or shellfish, poultry or red meats) are suited to our salsas, the method is similar:
Lightly oil and heat a pan on medium to medium-high, sauté some aromatics, onion, garlic, celery, carrot, pepper — anything you'd like. Onions are a classic ingredient and can turn a plain meat dish into something truly fantastic.
Once the onion is translucent (or browned, depending on your taste preference) turn the heat to medium-high and add your protein. When the protein gets a bit of color on it (you’ll have to judge this, shrimp probably need a minute, tofu 4 minutes, chicken on the bone 6-8 minutes, etc.), add salsa and lower the heat. Partially cover the pan and taste, adding more salsa if needed. Serve with remaining salsa.