Tomato-Habanero Salsa

This Caribbean pepper is famous for being the hottest chile pepper in the world. They come in a variety of shapes and colors(yellow, orange,green, red,chocolate). Not only are they extremely hot, but they also have a unique,distinctively fruity flavor.

It is the key ingredient in the popular Jamaican Jerk sauce. The habanero is also widely used in many different types of hot sauces. The popularity of this chile pepper continues to grow and is becoming easier to find on the grocery shelf.

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1 small red onion, about 4 oz.
2 Tbsp. fresh sour orange or lime juice
10 oz. ripe tomatoes
6 radishes
1/2 habanero chile (or more to taste)
12 large sprigs of fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp. salt

Chop the onion very fine and using a knife, scoop it into a strainer. Rinse under cold water and shake off as much water as possible, then transfer to a small bowl. Stir in the juice and set aside.

Core the tomatoes and cut them in half crosswise; squeeze out the seeds, then finely dice. Scoop into a bowl. Slice the radishes 1/16″ thick, then chop into matchsticks or a small dice, and add to the tomatoes. Wearing rubber gloves, carefully cut out and discard the habaneros seed pod. Mince the flesh into tiny bits and add to the tomatoes. Bunch up the cilantro sprigs and with a very sharp knife slice them 1/16″ thick, stems and all, working from the leafy end towas the stems. Combine the radishes, chile and chopped cilantro with tomato mixture. Stir in the onion and juice mixture. Taste and season with salt. (Makes 2 cups of salsa.)

This salsa is best when used within a few hours of completion. The longer it sits the hotter it will become. (If you omit the tomatoes the salsa is called salpicon.)