This is my idea of a healthier and possibly even better nachos recipe using loads of fresh crunchy salad greens, zesty salsa and reduced quantity of cheese as the toppings. I made this a few years back but here I have given it an update and included a recipe to make your own delicious salsa at home.
I chose a salsa because this takes me straight back to the twenty-two-year-old me who bought a car with her sister and drove across the huge US of A. I remember clearly being served spicy salsa with corn chips in many of the bars we popped into back then, and it was also the time I fell in love with Mexican cuisine. We travelled on a fairly southern route so were exposed to much delicious and authentic Mexican food.
The concept of preserving food appeals to me in every way. It’s about taking fresh produce at its peak in season and processing it into something delicious to carry over to later months. With the Ball home-preserving kits – which are now available in South Africa, you have everything you need apart from a large pot of boiling water to make properly preserved food in jars. If you follow the few very simple steps on how to preserve properly, you could be up and running making impressive jams and pickles forever.
*Cooks notes ~ This is quite a spicy salsa so adapt the number of chillis as desired. I used medium heat Serrano chillis and added about a cup. The Apple cider vinegar gives the salsa some sweetness and zing.
I like using multi-grain nacho chips as they have more texture and I love the flavour of the seeds cooked into the masa.
Recipe – zesty salsa
- 5 cups chopped cored peeled tomatoes (about 13 medium or 7 large)
- 2-1/2 cups chopped seeded green bell peppers (about 2 large)
- 2-1/2 cups chopped onions (about 3 to 4 medium, or 2 large)
- 1-1/4 cups chopped seeded chilli peppers, such as hot banana, Hungarian wax, Serrano or jalapeño (about 7 medium)
- 3/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1 to 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro
- 1-1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce, optional
- 4 500ml / half pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands
PREPARE boiling water canner (large stockpot will do). Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.
COMBINE tomatoes, green peppers, onions, chilli peppers, vinegar, garlic, cilantro, salt and hot pepper sauce, if using, in a large stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened about 10 minutes.
LADLE hot salsa into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot salsa. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight (do not over tighten the jar).
PROCESS the jars in a pot of boiling water for 15 minutes (adjust for altitude). Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when the center is pressed.
Nachos (quantities as per requirements)
- Corn chips
- Zesty salsa (recipe above)
- grated cheddar
- A selection of toppings of your choice:
- cooked corn cut off the cob, chopped crunchy lettuce, slices of fresh avocado, slices of red onion and spring onion, red pepper and coriander/cilantro leaves
- lime wedges to spritz (optional)
To make your nachos preheat your oven to 180C / 350 F.
Place a generous layer of corn chips across the bottom of an ovenproof dish. Spread a layer of prepared zesty salsa over this and then scatter grated cheese. Bake this in the oven until the chips start going brown and the cheese is totally melted and starting to bubble,
Reme and top the nachos with your crunchy greens and prepared vegetables. Scatter cilantro and serve immediately.
*Disclaimer ~ This post is sponsored