Maybe as a reaction to this impending thing called Fall, last week I brought home an unreasonable amount of late summer produce from the market. And then I watched as it withered on the kitchen counter for the better part of five days--the peaches had to be relocated to the refrigerator, to stop the wan brown spots from spreading too quickly; the corn had dried past the point of enjoyment without adulteration; the peppers became wrinkled as old men in their punnets. What was I to do? I took to a low oven, to allow these vegetables to soften and become ripe with new promise for a few hours.
What follows is barely a recipe, but it is truly a jack of all trades. A bit sweet, a bit spicy, it’s bombastically colored, and 100% late summer. Serve it on: tacos, steak, or simply with tortilla chips. Smear it on toast, with an oozy fried egg on top. Use it as a modified shrimp cocktail dip. It would make a stellar addition to your next grilled cheese. Sauce couscous or pasta. One night for dinner, I made pork sausage burger sliders with this salsa, roasted onions, and diced cucumbers: it was delicious. Or, freeze the salsa for later, for some day in February, when the city feels like a wasteland tundra of never-ending onions and potatoes, and once again you long for the next season to arrive. —Cristina Sciarra
Prep all the vegetables: Wash the plums, peaches, jalapeños, peppers, and tomatoes. Peel the onions, break the garlic head into cloves, shuck the corn.
Now prep further, dumping everything into a large bowl as you go: halve the plums; quarter the peaches; de-stem, seed, and roughly chop the jalapeños; stem and roughly dice all the peppers; chop the tomatoes; roughly dice the onions. Toss the garlic cloves into the bowl, too. (Keep the corn separate for now.)
Heat the oven to 275F.
Pour the olive oil into the bowl, along with a generous quantity of salt and pepper. Use your hands to mix everything together. Adjust the olive oil, salt, and pepper as you see fit.
Spread the contents of the bowl onto a large baking sheet. Use the olive oil left in the bottom of the mixing bowl to coat the corn; add it to the baking sheet, too.
Cook the fruits and vegetables for 2 hours. Then, lower the oven to 215F, and cook for another 30 minutes. Once out of the oven, cut the kernels from the corn. Run everything through the food processor. Enjoy warm, or at room temperature.
Cristina is a writer, cook, and day job real estate developer. She studied literature, holds an MFA in Fiction Writing, and completed the Basic Cuisine course at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She lives in Jersey City with her husband--a Frenchman she met in Spain--and their sweet black cat, Minou. Follow her writings, recipes, publications and photography at theroamingkitchen.com.