In elementary school, I was obsessed with onomatopoeia—finding every excuse to use words I could attach an exclamation point onto. It was enthusiastic and, I'm sure, slightly annoying all at once.
I thought my onomatopoeia obsession was long gone, until I made Fresh Turmeric Salsa. Which, if it came with a soundtrack, would be zing(!), zap(!), zip(!) and POW(!).
Fresh turmeric has a peppery warmth that's sort of bracing, and while you could tame its flavor in something like a broth, you could also whole-heartedly embrace it: When you combine turmeric with ginger, chile, and lime juice, it says, "Hello, I'm here. Ready to wake up whatever I'm put on."
Make this for dinner tonight, spooned onto toast smeared with goat cheese. And, if you like, make it on Sunday, too—with one hand in a bowl of popcorn and the other cradling this golden salsa, waiting to see who will win that golden statue.
Here's what you'll need (organized by area of the grocery store):
- 5 fresh turmeric fingers (about 3 ounces—and yes, you do need to find fresh turmeric, not dried, for this)
- 2 teaspoons minced or grated ginger (about a 1-inch piece)
- 1 chili, such as a serrano or jalapeño, seeded and diced
- Juice of 1 or 2 limes, depending on how juicy they are
- Your favorite bread for toasting
- Goat cheese
You'll also need 1/2 teaspoon salt, good olive oil (as needed), and sugar (as needed). If you don't have these, add them to your list, too!
About 40 minutes before you'd like to eat, peel the turmeric. Using a sharp knife, slice it in half lengthwise, then crosswise into thin half moons. Mix the turmeric with the ginger, chile, salt, and lime juice. Stir and let sit for 30 minutes, then taste and adjust. If you think it's too intense or bitter, add a teaspoon of olive oil or sugar or both.
Are you ready to eat? Good! Toast a slice or two of bread. Spread some goat cheese on it. Top with turmeric salsa. Say zing!
See the full recipe here.