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Yucatan Salsa

1 small (4-ounce) red onion
2 tablespoons fresh sour orange or lime juice
10 ounces (2 small round or 3 or 4 plum) ripe tomatoes
6 radishes
1/2 to 1 whole fresh habanero chile
12 or so large sprigs cilantro
Salt, about 1/2 teaspoon

Very finely chop the onion with a knife (a food processor will make
it into a quickly souring mess), scoop it into a strainer and rinse
under cold water. Shake off as much water as possible, then transfer
to a small bowl and stir in the juice to "deflame" the onion's
pungency. Set aside while you prepare the remaining ingredients.

Core the tomatoes, then cut them crosswise in half and squeeze out
the seeds if you want (it'll make the sauce seem less rustic).
Finely dice the tomatoes by slicing them into roughly 1/4-inch
pieces, then cutting each slice into small dice. Scoop into a bowl.
Slice the radishes 1/16 inch thick, then chop into matchsticks or
small dice. Add to the tomatoes. Carefully cut out and discard
the habanero's seed pod (wear rubber gloves if your hands are
sensitive to the piquancy of the chiles), 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 inch thick, stems and all,
working from the leafy end toward the stems.

Combine radishes, chile, and chopped cilantro with the tomato
mixture, stir in the onion and juice mixture, taste and season with
salt, and it's ready to serve in a salsa dish for spooning onto
tacos, grilled fish, and the like.

Note: Jalapenos and serranos (3 to 5) can replace the habanero.
Manzano chiles (1/2 to 1) also would taste good in this salsa.


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